SACRAMENTO (CBS13) — Law enforcement experts are already beginning to break-down the Las Vegas active shooter attack to train officers on what to do when it happens again.
One expert called it “a new realm for law enforcement.”
We have seen active shooter scenarios too many times to count, but this one was different, with the active shooter hidden from his victims, in a sniper position.
And that creates a new problem for police.
“This is a game changer,” Elmo Banning said.
Banning owns D-Prep, a Sacramento-based disaster preparedness company that trains police departments in how to respond to active shooters.
“You had a sniper, high ground, and that is almost unprecedented,” Banning said.
Banning said the Las Vegas attack reminds him of another dark day in U.S history–the 1966 Texas Tower Massacre.
Half a century ago—at the time the worst shooting in U.S. history—15 people were killed over 90 minutes by a shooter atop a University of Texas tower.
It changed police tactics across the country.
“That was the impetus for them to develop SWAT teams,” Banning said. “That incident was the one.”
Now Banning says the Las Vegas shooting will likely force a change to police policies again.
“I think you’re going to see some employment of high-ground snipers,” Banning said. “I don’t know how you can avoid it.”
Banning says police departments may have to consider changing standards for all major outdoor events, employing their own snipers, as they do for high-ranking official visits.
“I’m not really sure, what’s going to happen with all of this,” Banning said. “I think that there’s going to be some tough questions.”
Banning says military-style tactics like suppression fire may be another new tactic. It would give officers the leeway to fire bullets in the general direction of the suspect they cant see.
“It’s a rough decision because one mistake and you know whats going to happen,” Banning said.