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New Tactics Employed by Police at Last Night's Shooting

New Tactics Employed by Police at Last Night's Shooting

Estimated read time: 2-3 minutes

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Whit Johnson Reporting Police who swarmed into the mall last night had one thing in mind--to stop Talovic. But until recently, police would not have handled the situation the way they did.

Police call it an active-shooter situation, where time is the enemy and people can be injured or killed by the second. The tactics used by authorities at Trolley Square are practiced nationwide. The goal: to immediately neutralize the threat.

Images most Utahns will likely never forget. People shot, injured and killed when a young man randomly opened fire at Trolley Square. Police arrived within three minutes of the first shots, and within six minutes the shooter was contained and then killed.

Chief Chris Burbank, Salt Lake City Police Dept.: "This suspect demonstrated his intent was to shoot as many people as he possibly could, and the officers' actions most certainly stopped that."

In active shooter situations police now demonstrate what is called an emergency action response.

As soon as three officers arrive on scene they go inside. Their mission: to neutralize the threat right away.

Chief Burbank: "Officers not caring for their personal safety, putting themselves in harm's way."

It could be a trooper, an officer, a deputy. All agencies work together; all have been trained for the emergency action response.

Chief Burbank: "This is training that has come over the last few years in response to some of the things that we've identified across the country."

The shooting at Columbine High School in 1999 was the big one, where two young men murdered 12 students and a teacher before killing themselves.

Al Gore, in response to Columbine: "ALL of us must change our lives to honor these children."

At the time, shootings of this magnitude were almost unheard of, and therefore training was inadequate. But now, law enforcement officers say they're ready, and even though six people were killed at Trolley Square, many more were saved.

After the suspect Sulejmen Talovic was killed, officers continued to search the building with their guns drawn, not only for people injured or hiding, but to be 100 percent sure that the threat was over.

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