Definition of Active Shooter
U.S. governmental agencies define an active shooter as “an individual actively engaged in killing or attempting to kill people in a populated area.”
A.L.I.V.E. defines active shooter as “An individual actively engaged in killing, or trying to kill, as many people possible in as short amount of time as possible.”
While these types of violent offenders are often armed with handguns, long guns, or both, notice that the definition does not explicitly say firearms. Therefore, you may also hear the terms active killer, mass killer, or mass attacker in place of an active shooter. This is especially true if the suspect uses another type of weapon, such as a knife or machete, to inflict terror on a larger scale.
When determining whether an event qualifies as an active shooting incident, the Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI) considers factors such as:
- whether the shooting occurred in a public place
- whether the shooting occurred in multiple locations
- whether the shooter conducted the shootings as part of another criminal act
- whether the shooting resulted in mass casualties
Being prepared to respond to an active shooter incident is critical to improving your chances of survival until law enforcement is able to arrive on the scene and stop the threat. A.L.I.V.E. offers Active Shooter Survival Training programs to individuals and groups both in person and online. These programs will teach you the five steps to take if you ever find yourself in the midst of an active shooter event.
Active shooters are also referred to as an Active Threat or an Active Assailant