Civilian response to an active killer event was the topic of discussion at Wednesday’s Nebraska City Rotary meeting.
Nebraska State Trooper William Rowell told the audience that 220 active killer incidents were recorded nationwide from 2000 to 2016. Those incidents resulted in 1,486 casualties, including 661 people killed and 825 people wounded.
Rowell said training and mindset can help civilians survive active killer incidents.
Such training can help people have a response plan that is practiced regularly, rather than a simple reaction to a dangerous situation, he said.
The first response for many people who hear gunshots in an active killer situation is denial, said Rowell.  
Rather than getting bogged down in denying that the shots have occurred, Rowell said that people need to move to the deliberation phase of response.
This phase can include  several options, including running from the shooter, denying him or her entry to a room or rooms, or defending one’s self against the shooter, said Rowell.
Rowell said that no single profile exists to define shooters in active killer incidents. Such shooters are interested in a high body count and may or may not broadcast their intentions on social media ahead of time.
“You are not helpless,” said Rowell. “What you do matters” in terms of survival.
Rowell said that when law enforcement arrives on the scene of an active killer situation, their first efforts will be directed at stopping the shooter from killing more people.
After that, he said that officers will start helping the wounded, and finally they will evacuate and secure the crime scene.
The Nebraska City Rotary Club meets at noon Wednesday at the Eagles Club, 600 1st Corso.
The club will not meet tomorrow (July 4) because of Independence Day.
The next meeting will be on Wednesday, July 11. Lunch is $9 for guests.