Recent exercise, police relationships factors in Capital Gazette response
Implement formal unified command, critical incident stress management and radio encryption to improve your active shooter response
The active shooter scenario is one that is becoming all too familiar to fire and EMS personnel. I spoke with Anne Arundel County Fire Chief Allan Graves about the shooting at the Capital Gazette offices, and takeaways he is able to share to help us all learn from their experience. Pre-planning and happenstance came together in this incident to significantly impact the outcome.
The recently released NFPA 3000 guidance on active shooter scenarios takes on more prominence with each passing incident. I encourage you to take time now to familiarize yourself with NFPA 3000; to make necessary changes to your operations; and to establish the necessary protocols, partnerships and relationships now before an active shooter strikes your community.
—Chief Marc Bashoor, Executive Editor, Fire Chief, FireRescue1
What happened: At 2:34 p.m., on June 28, the Anne Arundel County (Md.) 911 center began receiving 911 calls for a shooting at the offices of the Capital Gazette Newspaper, an affiliate of the Baltimore Sun, just outside the city of Annapolis. Police officers arrived within 60 seconds of the initial dispatch, with standard fire and EMS units also responding.
A 38-year-old gunman with a long-standing vendetta with the newspaper entered and opened fire inside the newspaper offices. Five newspaper employees were killed and several others received varying degrees of injury. Police officers were able to quickly locate and take the suspect into custody – without further incident.
Setting the scene
The Capital Gazette offices are located close to the Annapolis Mall, just outside the city of Annapolis border in Anne Arundel County. The location is approximately 35 miles east of Washington, D.C., and 35 miles south of Baltimore, Md.