Sniper Kills 50+, Wounds 400+ in Vegas Concert Shooting

“He opened fire on a crowd of more than 22,000 concert goers.”  Guess what, America?  This guy is a terrorist.

UPDATES, at the bottom of the post…

Quick editorial note right up front:
I spent this entire day from the time of posting arguing with people about my use of the word sniper in this article.  You’re right, he’s not a sniper, never was a sniper, and was not trained as a sniper.  Because of this decision I made to use that word, which I was using to describe a person firing from an elevated position, some were severely offended.  That wasn’t my intention, apologies all around.  Thank you.

I keep wanting to write ‘this is unreal,’ but we’re kind of way beyond that here in modern America.  A 64-year old coward named Stephen Paddock from Mesquite, NV opened fire from the 32nd floor of the Mandalay Bay with automatic fire.  The video sounds like he was just emptying a magazine into the crowd, taking cover, reloading, and doing it again.  He killed at least 50 people, more than any time in US history.  I said a sniper shot in the title; this guy wasn’t a sniper, ever, he was never trained as such, I chose that word as a description of a person firing from an elevated position, thinking that people would equate that better than other choices that may have been more militarily appropriate.  I’m not military.

I’m sitting here listening to interviews of survivors behind me on the news — this happened last night at the Route 91 Harvest Festival, 3-day country music thing going on in Las Vegas next to the Mandalay Bay.  I just saw a video this morning of automatic gunfire.  I have fired an automatic weapon several times (like many of us have), and that sound is indistinguishable:

Police in Henderson have commented that they found 10 long rifles in his room; he had automatic weapons.  If you have an FFL in America, get ready for that yearly visit I’m guessing.  The FBI is going to be looking for this automatic weapon/weapons’ history, because this guy had nothing on him legally, the police say he had a traffic ticket.  He had a female companion; they’ve questioned her, but details of that are sparse and conflicting.

This dude did this during Jason Aldean‘s slot — all crew and Jason Aldean are accounted for.

This guy shot a lot of rounds a long f**king way.  Seriously, look at this:

Most of the news we’ll learn will be today — LVPD is going to be searching this nutbag’s property this morning, I’ll update as I see.

Listen to this video — the video is very grainy, but the sound is unmistakeable, it sounds like clapping.  I wouldn’t be a bit surprised if they discover drum mags in his room:

What is known right now about this mass killing in Las Vegas:

  • Shooter is dead; self-inflicted gunshot wound before the police could get in.
  • No motive yet.
  • The shooter had a pilot’s license.
  • 2 off-duty LVPD at the show were killed; two on-duty were wounded.
  • This guy was a local — from Mesquite, Nevada (80 miles or so away)
  • He had at least 8 firearms in his room, on the 32nd floor of the Mandalay Bay.  He checked in on the 28th of September.

Photos of this new nightmare:

An ABC News report that happened live:

More as I see it.  I’m sorry, everyone.

UPDATES

UPDATE, 10:47am Central:
Killed number has been updated to 58 and possibly 59 depending on one patient who isn’t expected to survive.
Wounded number has been updated to 518.

UPDATE, 15:52pm Central:

Some details on the shooter:

  • His father was a bank robber, Eric Paddock said. The FBI lists the late Benjamin Hoskins Paddock as being on the FBI’s most-wanted list from June 10, 1969 until May 5, 1977.
  • The father escaped from prison in 1969 and lived on the run until 1978, when he was arrested in Oregon, the Eugene Register reported at the time.
  • He has a brother — Eric Paddock — Eric Paddock said his father died a few years ago and that “he was never with my mom.” Eric said he was born while his father was on the run.
  • “He was a wealthy guy playing video poker … on cruises,” his brother said, adding that Stephen could afford anything he wanted and played $100-a-hand poker.
  • Authorities believe Paddock had a device similar to a hammer to smash the hotel windows prior to the shooting, Lombardo said. Officials think Paddock brought the weapons into the hotel by himself but did not provide specifics.
  • No military records so far for Stephen Paddock.

This guy is a terrorist — now he is a dead terrorist, having cowardly gone out the way he cowardly killed all of those people.

People jumping to get over the barricade away from the incoming rounds

The busted out windows of Stephen Paddock’s hotel room where he was firing at the crowd

Dude had Daytime aftermathUPDATE, 19:39pm:
Killed has risen to 59; wounded is now at 527.

On several occasions, Stephen Paddock gambled more than $10,000 per day — and in some cases more than than $20,000 and $30,000 a day — at Las Vegas casinos, according to an NBC News source who read the suspect’s Multiple Currency Transaction Reports (CTR) and a casino gaming executive.

This guy had more than 16 rifles in the Mandalay Bay room, plus a pistol; the search of his home turned up more firearms and thousands of rounds of ammunition.

 

Some hat tips/research list:
http://www.cnn.com/2017/10/02/us/las-vegas-concert-shooting-scene/index.html
http://www.cnn.com/2017/10/02/us/las-vegas-attack-stephen-paddock-trnd/index.html
http://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-lasvegas-shooting/lone-gunman-kills-59-injures-hundreds-in-las-vegas-concert-attack-idUSKCN1C70FU
http://www.foxnews.com/us/2017/10/02/las-vegas-police-feds-race-to-uncover-what-drove-aggressively-unfriendly-gunman-with-weapons-arsenal-to-kill.html
http://abcnews.go.com/US/50-dead-200-injured-las-vegas-deadliest-shooting/story?id=50223240
https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2017/10/02/us/mandalay-bay-vegas-shooting.html





https://www.nbcnews.com/storyline/las-vegas-shooting/las-vegas-police-investigating-shooting-mandalay-bay-n806461

http://www.cnn.com/2017/10/02/us/las-vegas-attack-stephen-paddock-trnd/index.html
http://www.aljazeera.com/news/2017/10/las-vegas-shooting-20-killed-scores-wounded-171002092103925.html
http://www.syracuse.com/us-news/index.ssf/2017/10/las_vegas_gunman_stephen_paddocks_father_was_bank_robber_wanted_by_the_fbi.html
http://www.latimes.com/nation/la-las-vegas-shooting-live-updates-carnage-concert-leaves-50-dead-100-injured-20171002-htmlstory.html


UPDATE:  Wednesday, October 4, 08:15am

The girlfriend is going to be questioned, she’s back in the states.  The sister’s story is that she was “surprised with a cheap ticket to the Philippines,” and that it was because she was sent away as to not get in the way of the planning.”  No shit, I just heard her say it.  The coward sent $100,000 to the Philippines a few before.

Murderer had cameras set up all around his room, inside and out; he was monitoring the room and the hallways, and one in the peephole of his door.

The guns inside the hotel room appeared to have bump fire devices attached to his rifles.  When you take them to the range and just have fun with them, they’re great.  This asshole used these currently legal devices and turning them into killing devices.  If you have one, I assume we won’t be able to have them anymore or they will become illegal soon.  He had 47 firearms (that’s the number today) in that room, several with long-range optics (scopes).  He was firing indiscriminately and picking targets.

There’s a picture out there of this jerk dead.  That’s how he deserves to be, for each of the families that he just ruined.

Photos coming, I’m on the road with spotty internet.


UPDATE:  Thursday, October 5, 08:14am

The general sense of the MSM news outlets is that there is more to the girlfriend’s story; at present, the coward killer gave her a “cheap ticket to the Philippines in order for her to visit family.  He also apparently wired her $100,000 for them to purchase a home there.  Then, in an interesting slice of irony, the girlfriend is back in the USA, and her attorney is speaking for her.  I personally find that odd, whether there is more to that is to be seen.

The killer’s girlfriend’s sister’s statement on video:

The girlfriend, Marilou Danley, had her attorney make a statement:

“It’s taken us this long to make a statement because it’s important to respect the investigative process. We wanted the FBI and the Las Vegas Police Department to have the first opportunity to talk to my client, Marilou Danley, about everything that she knew about Stephen. That being said, I have a statement to read from my client Marilou Danley. ‘I am devastated by the deaths and injuries that have occurred and my prayers go out to the victims and their families, and all those who have been hurt by these awful events. I have faith in God and I will continue to pray for everyone who has been harmed or hurt. I am a mother and a grandmother and my heart breaks for all who have lost loved ones. I knew Stephen Paddock as a kind, caring quiet man. I loved him and hoped for a quiet future together with him. He never said anything to me or took any action that I was aware of that I understood in any way to be a warning that something horrible like this was going to happen again. A little more than two weeks ago Stephen told me he found a cheap ticket for me to the Philippines and that he wanted me to take a trip home to see my family. Like all Filipinos abroad, I was excited to go home and see family and friends. While there he wired me money, which he said was for me to buy a house for me and my family. I was grateful but honestly I was worried that first the unexpected trip home and then the money was a way of breaking up with me. It never occurred to me in any way whatsoever that he was planning violence against anyone. I have not made a statement until now because I have been cooperating with the authorities and I voluntarily flew back to America because I know that the FBI and Las Vegas Police Department wanted to talk to me and I wanted to talk with them. I will cooperate fully with their investigation. Anything I can do to help ease suffering and help in any way, I will do. Please respect my privacy and my family’s privacy. Thank you.”

Here’s current numbers and information:

  • 58 people killed plus the gunman, but f**k him.  59 including him.  58 actual humans died in his planned attack.
  • as of right now with this update, there are 172 people still in bed care at area hospitals in the LV metro.

More photos, some of these are f**king terrible.  I have also posted, at the bottom, a protected photo of the aftermath of the coward murderer’s rampage — I protected this image with a click-first image, but I posted this just like I posted the photo at Le Bataclan — this is history, and that photo is a reminder of how little this asshole valued our lives.

A person who just wanted to go see a concert. That’s a body.

Victim of the shooting — she needs four more surgeries on her wounded arm, according to the source.

LVPD reacts and remains behind cover during a pause in one of the bursts of fire

Bystanders attempt to get help for a shot woman at the show

This one haunts me — how many times have we walked those halls???

Another haunting image — she’s in shock. Someone needed to be there with her.

Aftermath of the field at the Rt 91 Harvest Music Festival after the stampede of people getting away from being killed

This image below is of Stephen Paddock, the coward who killed 58 people and wounded over five hundred, dead from what appears to be a self-inflicted GSW.  Click it if you want, if not, do not click.

 

 

EXCLUSIVE VIDEO – Shawn London, FOH Audio for Eagles of Death Metal and Le Bataclan Attack Survivor, Speaks to JimOnLight

We’re honored to have a life-changing video to share.  I wish it were about something cool like Rate masters or inhibitive submasters used to protect certain parts of your effects live, but no…

This is Shawn London.  Shawn reached out to us here to tell his story of the coward Daesh attack on Paris, he was mixing audio at FOH when these assholes came into the venue and started killing people.  Once you watch this video, once you hear how Shawn was shot at several times, how he had to hear the pleas of people being purely executed, and how he got out while saving a life or two beyond his own…  you may have a change in heart in the way you do things.

These assholes blocked the exits, you guys.  They were executing people trying to escape.  Shawn will explain to you all of this, please watch his frankly horrifying account while standing behind a Midas Verona at the Le Bataclan when the bullets started flying.

In addition to the JimOnLight.com video with Shawn, Eagles of Death Metal was interviewed by Vice News founder Shane Smith.  I’ve been watching Vice since that great network started, I’ve tried to model a lot of the ballsiness of Vice’s, well, ballsiness, into the posting on JimOnLight over the years because those who work in our various lighting industries are usually pretty no-bullshit.  This second video is raw too, the band is glad to be alive and pretty destroyed that this happened, as you would imagine.  Hang in there though, there is real talk in this video too.

If you cannot watch this one, please don’t watch the first one.  But please, put on some adult underwear and save your life.  Learn from their experiences.  We humans SUCK at not repeating the history we all suffer through, so let’s make this the last time I have to give an interview like this.

What If I’m Attacked at Work? A Crew Primer, Part 3

Please be warned, this post contains graphic imagery of death.

This is a multi-part series on JimOnLight.com on what to do if someone comes into your gig shooting at you.  This is by no means the answer, or even an answer.  Every situation is different, everything that can go wrong will go wrong (as we all know in Entertainment alone), and the information and interviews here are meant solely to help you be less unprepared.  Very few of us out there in the field have the kind of training that it actually takes to combat people who are hell bent on killing us.  This article series is just meant to give you things to think about in order to put your head in the game.  Use this information at your own risk and with steadfast understanding that if you’re attacked at a gig, it is you who will be responsible for you.

graphic_image

Part 1 and Part 2 talk about Situational Awareness, and what to do when you’re faced with an Active Shooter Event.  That means when you’re at work and some asshole comes in firing at people.  The Situational Awareness part comes from having your head out of your phone and watching what’s going on around you to notice that there’s an Active Shooter in your gig.

We’ve also learned that the best things to to are to GET OUT OF THAT SITUATION AND OUT OF THE BUILDING AS QUICKLY AND SAFELY AS POSSIBLE.

We’ve learned that there is no reason for you untrained cowboys out there with concealed carry permits to insert yourself into a situation, it’s most likely going to end up with me writing a story about you on JimOnLight, and tens of thousands of people are going to like it, comment on it, say how nice you were when you when they worked with you…  but you’ll still be dead.  People bent on death don’t think or train past the moment of your death, it is best to JUST GET THE FUCK OUT.

I’m super glad to have gotten Brendon’s thoughts on what’s been going on out there — if you sit down with Grimey at a show, he’s actually quite a knowledgeable guy and his company kicks ass.

grimey

Brendon Grimes at the base of Entebbe Tower

JimOnLight:
Grimey, you spent time in complete shitholes during conflict.  What are your thoughts as to everything that’s gone down in the last 6 months?

Brendon Grimes:
“The recent terrorist attacks in Paris fall in line with so many other attacks throughout the world. It saddens me to see any of this happen, yet I am still amazed to see how many individuals that live with their heads in the ground about this real and dangerous threat. Almost as if it does not pertain to them.”

“I know that every terror attack somehow affects me. I’ve spent 20 years in the United States Air Force, as an MC-130H Combat Mission Loadmaster. I have had so many great experiences, and met so many great people and friends over that time. I have traveled to well over 100 Countries around the world, during which time I always recognized that I was there as a representative of the USA. This meant that I followed and obeyed the host Countries laws and respected their practices or beliefs. OK, I admit there may have been a few Countries that I visited that we were only there for a short period of time, and it was to ‘correct’ their policies, or administer our policy. However, for the most part, we always respected the host Nations policies, just like tourists or visiting Tours should do.”

JimOnLight:
Do you think that your career has prepared you for the threats that we face today?  Are those threats real, or are we going all ‘prepper’ on the business?

“I served a distinguished career, retiring with an honorable discharge.  So now we have the same threat that has affected the entertainment industry, and an entire new group of individuals believe that maybe, just maybe, this threat is real, and could involve them.  The threat is global, the threat is real, and it is not only aimed at Americans, but against Western civilizations and beliefs. So maybe a reminder every once and awhile is in order, the below list contains just a few of a very long list, but these attacks were against Americans, or killed Americans:

“So, you ask my opinions regarding recent terrorist events because of my military background?  Well this is nothing new to me.  I am discouraged that our political leadership has failed to take appropriate actions over the past several years.  I am very concerned that Americas trend towards ‘Political Correctness’ has taken us down a path that has no easy return.  This problem is not America’s problem, it is the World’s problem.  Each and every one of us have a responsibility to stand up against terrorism, and fight for basic human rights.  Nearly 30 years ago, I took a sworn oath to defend the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic. That oath did not have a expiration date, and today I still stand against all enemies, foreign and domestic.”

JimOnLight:
Ok brother, let’s put your brain through these questions.  Starting with number one – If you were at a show at FOH in a venue like that of Le Bataclan and attackers burst in with automatic weapons, what are the first and second things that would be going through a trained mind like yours?  

Brendon Grimes:
“Remain Calm, take cover and identify the threat, then take appropriate action.” 

JimOnLight:
Now imagine that question with AND without a sidearm, and how you would react differently.

Brendon Grimes:
“I’d still take appropriate action.  I’d take cover.  Though, I might use tools at hand such as lighting and audio to confuse and disorient the attackers.  I believe that as long as we allow the threat of terror to exist, we will continue to see changes in the ways public events are handled. Specific guidelines for patrons, and venue staff. Kevlar matting built into crowd barriers, snipers or armed security at larger public events, there are many possibilities.”

JimOnLight:
Considering our environment and the various things we have to use as cover and concealment, can you recommend what to use and what not to use?  Obviously a rolling dimmer rack would probably provide more protection than a wardrobe case, for example — What would you go for?

Brendon Grimes:
“This would completely depend on where I was at in the venue.  Many people don’t realize the benefit of hitting the ground and lying flat.  However, any flight case would work to start because you become out of sight.  Heavier cases such as cable trunks, stage decking, and so forth obviously would be better to hide behind, but in reality, whatever you can do to make yourself a smaller target is the best option.”

JimOnLight:
What are your thoughts generally on protection inside of venues by crew personnel?  Do you think that our own protection is something that we need to take on at this point in our industry?  How do you feel about arming ourselves at gigs?

Brendon Grimes:
“I know several crew members that have concealed carry permits, and some that don’t, both of whom carry concealed fire arms. Some crew have actual weapons safes in their touring work box. They normally do not carry while loading in/out as the threat is lower, however once they sit back into go mode such as at a FOH position they sometimes arm themselves. I have been told by one freelance technician named ‘Levi’ that he carries depending on his feelings towards his own personal safety at each event.”

It is not my belief that it is our responsibility as touring crew to provide security for the events we work.  I also believe that I cannot depend on anyone else to defend me, however I expect to be provided a safe environment to work in.  So as we have seen, this is not always the case.  While not creating an argument over second amendment rights, I do believe that anyone who wishes to provide additional protection for themselves in the form of weaponry, needs to be fully trained, and qualified to do so, and this means maintaining safe practice and regular training. As some of these weapons can be more harmful in the wrong hands.”


Brendon Grimes laid out some serious dead rules for what he thinks is appropriate action.  Notice though, he goes straight into the most important thing first — GET DOWN, GET COVERED, GET OUT.  We’re on Part 3 here, and this is still the main theme.  When someone attacks your gig, GET OUT, GET OUT, GET OUT — and take as many people as you can.

Ok, some real talk…

Here’s what an AK-47 looks like pointed towards you:

AK-47-aimed-at-you

Here’s an AK-47 with and without a man-targeter on the front of it.  There is no mistake that you have a deadly weapon pointed at you:

EOtech-sight-AK

SO when you see ANY of those things at a gig out of place…  What are you going to do?  Especially while not carrying a firearm, which should not be our responsibility at the gig in the first place?

  • YOU ARE GOING TO GET DOWN
  • YOU ARE GOING TO GET OUT AS FAST AS SAFELY AS POSSIBLE WITHOUT PANICKING
  • YOU ARE NOT GOING TO PLAY HERO, YOU ARE GETTING THE FUCK OUT
  • If you CANNOT INSTANTLY GET OUT, YOU ARE GOING TO HIDE AND STAY HIDDEN UNTIL YOU CAN GET OUT
  • WHEN YOU CAN GET OUT, YOU’RE GOING TO GET OUT
  • ONCE YOU’RE OUT — CALL THE LOCAL EMERGENCY NUMBER
  • IF YOU CANNOT GET OUT – HIDE UNTIL YOU HAVE TO FIGHT FOR YOUR LIFE

LET’S JUST SAY that you’re carrying your legal sidearm at a gig or on a tour, and some terror douches come into your gig, shooting up people and firing indiscriminately into the crowd. What are you going to do?  If you have ignored the four military minds here stating for you to GET OUT OF THAT PLACE AND DON’T ENGAGE, and you are going to take your own life and those around you into your own hands like some kind of hero, what are you going to do?

Rick Reeves in Part 2 mentions that “there is one exception:  If you have a gun that you can get out without being noticed, and there is a bad guy 7 feet in front of you with his back to you, and you KNOW you cannot miss from 7 feet, shoot him.  Then take all of the rest of the advice I gave you.”  The rest of Rick’s advice was GETTING OUT AND TAKING AS MANY PEOPLE OUT AS YOU CAN GET.

For all of you cowboys out there who think you’re going to save the world when the shit hits the fan — and this is coming from a person who owns, maintains, and practices operating his weapons systems — please know that there are so many things you could do by pulling your sidearm that could cause people around you to get shot.  Here’s a few scenarios:

  • You’re in an actual Active Shooter situation, and you were too gung-ho about pulling your gun out so you were identified by the gunmen, so now you and all of the innocents around you are going to be the victim to a hail of bullets, all because you wanted to be a hero.
  • You THINK you’re in an active shooter situation…  and you pulling out your pistol gets you shot dead because others around you were also quick on the draw and not so quick on the intellectual steps following up to even unsnapping your trigger guard.  Mistaken identity, friendly fire.  You’re still dead as shit.
  • Same situation, you THINK you’re in an Active Shooter situation, and the police onsite mistake you for the shooter.  You’re fucking dead.  Have you watched the news lately?  Police are NOT AFRAID to shoot you, they are protecting their own lives and managing their own agendas.  Not all, but many.  Oh, and they’re trained to land their lead into you.  Repeatedly.
  • Let’s say you’re fortunate enough to not only have some excellent cover, but to be excellent under fire.  What if you miss?  What if you miss and you make the attackers aware to your location?  Can you shoot back under a hail of automatic gunfire?  Chances are, if people are storming some place that is going to have a ton of people in it, they’re going to have some kind of multi-round-firing, high magazine capacity device.  The largest concealed carry magazine I can fit in my pants in .45 is 9 rounds.  In 9mm, I carry 10 rounds on me, and in .40, I carry 8.  Do any of those match up to 30 rounds per clip of assault rifle ammunition?  No, they do not.  You will get shot dead.

IF YOUR BOSSES ALLOW YOU TO CARRY CONCEALED AS PER YOUR PERMITTED STATUS ALLOWS, you should already know the next four rules I am going to list.  If you haven’t heard of these four rules and you’re carrying, please go put a trigger lock on your pistol, lock that bitch up, and sign up for a Pistol Safety and Self Defense course quick.

These four rules make sure that you don’t have accidents.  People cleaning their guns who shoot themselves are full of shit, they did not follow the Four Rules of Firearm Safety.  If you are dead set on deterring or defeating the threat in an active shooter situation and there are not already TRAINED ASSAULTING FORCES aiding in your rescue…  You have GOT to remember…

THE FOUR RULES OF FIREARM OPERATION AND SAFETY

  1. TREAT EVERY FIREARM LIKE IT IS LOADED, EVEN WHEN YOU ARE SURE IT IS NOT.
  2. NEVER, EVER POINT THE MUZZLE (THE END WITH THE HOLE) OF THE FIREARM AT ANYTHING YOU’RE NOT COMPLETELY WILLING TO DESTROY
  3. NEVER EVEN PUT YOUR FINGER ON THE TRIGGER OF A FIREARM UNLESS YOU ARE READY AND WILLING TO FIRE
  4. ALWAYS, ALWAYS, ALWAYS:  BE SURE OF YOUR TARGET, AND WHAT IS BEYOND YOUR TARGET

The last rule is so extremely important when you think you want to be a cowboy in an active shooter situation.  When you miss while dodging automatic weapon fire after feeling the need to shoot back INSTEAD OF GETTING THE HELL OUT, what happens if you kill an innocent bystander?  That isn’t collateral damage of war, you’re not a trained fighter.  You just killed someone’s mom, dad, sister, brother, wife, husband, lover, friend.  Dead.  It would have been better to lie flat, and get out.

Also, you’re not trained in determining who and what is a suspicious target, nor is it your responsibility.

But… when all else fails — police security, private security hires, private contractors, local security…  when all of that is exhausted and you find yourself in a situation where you and other people are going to die because a terrorist attacker is about on you, do whatever you can do to keep hidden and safe and get out.  Or, when all of those options are exhausted and the terrorist assholes are bearing down on your position, do whatever you can do.  If you have a sidearm, use it safely while watching that you’re not going to make some additional innocent people collateral damage.  But you better be goddamned sure that if you start shooting, you knew you had no other option but to die.  That’s why we can have Concealed Weapons permits.

Things to read:  FEMA’s ACTIVE SHOOTER Guide and ALICE Active Shooter Training

ALICE is actually a pretty cool acronym:

  • ALERT:  Use Plain and Specific Language.  Avoid Code Words.
  • LOCKDOWN:  Barricade the Room. Silence Mobile Devices.  Prepare to EVACUATE or COUNTER if Needed.
  • INFORM.  Communicate the Shooter’s Location in Real Time.
  • COUNTER.  Create Noise, Movement, Distance and Distraction with the Intent of Reducing the Shooter’s Ability to Shoot Accurately.
  • EVACUATE.  When Safe to Do So, Remove Yourself from the Danger Zone.

More things in mind that tell you NOT TO STICK AROUND unless you are TRAPPED.  GET OUT, GET OUT, GET OUT OF THE LINE OF FIRE.

Quick links:

Patrick Dierson Interview, Part 1
What If I’m Attacked at Work?  A Crew Primer

Rick Reeves and Matt Hazard, Part 2
What If I’m Attacked at Work?  A Crew Primer

Brendon Grimes, Part 3
What If I’m Attacked at Work?  A Crew Primer

What If I’m Attacked at Work? A Crew Primer, Part 2

This is a multi-part series on JimOnLight.com on what to do if someone comes into your gig shooting at you.  This is by no means the answer, or even an answer.  Every situation is different, everything that can go wrong will go wrong (as we all know in Entertainment alone), and the information and interviews here are meant solely to help you be less unprepared.  Very few of us out there in the field have the kind of training that it actually takes to combat people who are hell bent on killing us.  This article series is just meant to give you things to think about in order to put your head in the game.  Use this information at your own risk and with steadfast understanding that if you’re attacked at a gig, it is you who will be responsible for you.

graphic_image

Folks, that’s real talk right there without saying a word.  I want to make sure that you know how real this shit really is.  Our “western society” was attacked on Friday the 13th, November 2015 in Paris.  over a hundred people lost their lives in an instant or two by some coward Daesh ISIS terrorists, most of whom are dead now with one still on the run as of 15:41, November 18.  They came into a concert hall with a concert going on, killed crew and audience, indiscriminately.

In Part 1 of this series about protecting yourself at a gig, we talked with Patrick Dierson about what he thought was the most important points to be discussed, and more than anything he says that, when you’re attacked at work, the most important thing to do is to GET OUT OF THERE AS FAST AS POSSIBLE, and to take as many people with you as you can get.  Very good advice, I say.  I also reached out to two people who have had major influences in my life — my grad student lighting studio supervisor at The Ohio State University Matt Hazard, who was involved in Marine Intelligence back in Serbia and Croatia when Milosevic was douchebagging around the region indiscriminately killing people (and is himself a hell of a lighting tech and designer), and production designer Rick Reeves, who was with Navy Security teams during the Iraq wars, having been a member of CENTCOM and MNF-I.  Both of these men have seen combat.  Neither of them recommend sticking around when the bullets are flying.

Just to kind of paraphrase what Patrick Dierson said in Part 1 before we move on to hear what Matt Hazard and Rick Reeves had to say…  If the shit hits the fan:

  • Get behind something quickly
  • Don’t get shot
  • Get outta there, and take people with you.
  • Don’t be a hero.  Don’t PLAY a hero either, you might get yourself shot.
  • Leave your gun at home, or keep your gun in your pants and get the hell out.
  • Also, GET OUT OF THERE

hazard

Don’t let his sweet goofball face fool you, Matt Hazard is one awesome lighting professional. And he also used to be a hitter for the US Marines Recon Force

This is Matt Hazard; Matt helped me learn that I had it within me to suck it the fuck up on a few occasions.  He’s the Lighting Studio Manager at The Ohio State University, he was my “drill sergeant” when I was in graduate school.  Well, really Mary Tarantino was both of our drill sergeant, but she’s tough all on her own.  Hazard was a Recon Marine who served in Kosovo when Milosevic was douchebagging around the region indiscriminately killing people (and is himself one hell of an ETCP-certified lighting tech, AND designer).

Lighting Design by Matt Hazard

Lighting Design by Matt Hazard

JimOnLight:
“Matt, thanks a lot for this, and for talking to me about such a distressing thing.  I have to ask you up front — what do you see when you see the photo aftermath of this mess?”

Matt Hazard:
“I’m guessing that FOH was in the back on the floor.  That’s my guess from looking at all of the attached pics.  If the fuckers with AKs came in the back of the floor, the FOH would have been one of the first things they saw.  The Twitter shot from the balcony looks like it might show the FOH in the bottom left of the pic. Pretty gruesome pic, that venue reminds of the Newport here in Columbus [Ohio].”

Newport Music Hall in Columbus, OH -- very similar size and layout to Le Bataclan in Paris

Newport Music Hall in Columbus, OH — very similar size and layout to Le Bataclan in Paris

“I’m trying to think what I’d do in that situation.  Most likely, you have zero time to react.  If crazy fuckers come in, they’ve likely blown by or shot the security staff to gain access.  If when they got to the floor and the first people they saw were the FOH ops, then that might have been where they began — I am entirely speculating here.  The first reaction would probably be incredible surprise: what am I looking at?  A guy with an AK-47?  It’s just not something you expect to see at a concert.  Loud noises are common place, although when the rounds begin cracking off, it would certainly stand out. I read that the band heard the shots and headed backstage. I think that is the natural reaction: seek cover and don’t get shot. Unfortunately, at a typical FOH, there’s not a whole lot of room to hide.”

le-bataclan-attackers

How the attack went down — and how some escaped

JimOnLight:
“Where do you think the responsibility for security lies in our shows?  Are we at at a point where we should be concerned with handling firearms as part of our kit?  Is that just stupid?”

Matt Hazard:
“Three summers ago, I had to help eject a guy from the FOH tent here in Columbus at an outdoor Skrillex show, I was hanging with the crew.  The promoters had not provided any sort of barrier or security for the FOH tent, and people were pushing up on it the entire show.  I kept an eye on the guy because his behavior was not what it should be. He eventually got pissed at the sound guy who kept telling him to back off and punched him. I grabbed his arms and pushed him out, but there was no security or police to take the idiot away.”

“Drunk idiots are an entirely different ball game from what happened in Paris.  I’m not sure if there is anything that could have been done to protect the tech staff at the venue.  Speculation is difficult as is asking yourself, ‘what would I have done?’  If you did have a gun and you did have the training, it is possible that you could have recognized the threat and fought back.  Will venues hire armed security guards if they think they might be targeted?  I’m not sure how many venues would condone their operators carrying weapons.”

“Something else to thing about,” Hazard adds, “We had a concert shooting here in Columbus years ago, at Alrosa Villa…  Five people were killed, including the gunman.  One was a performer on stage, one was a club security guard, another was a club employee, and the final was a patron. It’s a much different story with a much different outcome, but it shows that public places are simply vulnerable targets.  Keep your head up when you’re out.”

JimOnLight:
Anything else you can think of to add?

Matt Hazard:
“The main thing I want to convey is that the folks who work shows a lot will probably notice things, people, behavior that is out of the ordinary.  But even with that, you just cannot be prepared for everything and anything and the crazy fuckers.”  

More Matt Hazard, LD

More Matt Hazard, LD


I asked Rick Reeves the same questions, same results.  Rick is a production designer, quite talented with projection, and is known to do some lighting here and there, or actually every day since he’s back in grad school after working at the famous OU in Norman, Oklahoma where I met him, shaping minds, eating burritos, drinking margaritas.  This was Rick back in his service days:

Yes, that's Rick Reeves, yes, that's an M-60 he's slinging, and yes, those are his massive balls he's standing on

Yes, that’s Rick Reeves, yes, that’s an M-60 he’s slinging, and yes, those are his massive balls he’s standing on

I asked Rick the three questions, but Rick is also a good friend, so I tended to be a bit more to the point and he replied as such.

JimOnLight:
Rick.  What do you think would happen if production crew started arming themselves?  Would this lead to a huge game of who can be the biggest cowboy?

Rick Reeves:
“Cowboys?  There is no room in the world of an active shooter (terrorist) attack for cowboys.  ISIS does not pick these guys up off of the street on the way to an attack and give them a gun, they go to terrorist boot camp.  Do you know what they learn at terrorist boot camp?  How to kill YOU.  They people that are carrying out these attacks are highly trained individuals, probably with decent weaponry.  If you have no, or little, training, get out of Dodge.  You will not win.  I don’t care if you have a weapon or not, your primary goal should be to get out, or stay out of the line of fire.
Also, these guys will probably have automatic weapons and the best you will have is a handgun. A handgun is no match for an automatic weapon, you will lose.”

JimOnLight:
Jesus.  That is right to the point, my friend.

Rick Reeves:
“This is no game.  These people are trained and led by their fierce ideology.”

JimOnLight:
How do I even begin to think like you?  What goes in your head when you enter a building considering the training you have?

Rick Reeves:
“My protective service training puts me in the habit of knowing what two exits are available to me at all times.  When you walk into a building for the first time, remember how to get out, and then find a second way out. This isn’t just good for terrorists, but for fires. It can help keep you alive.  SO, KNOW TWO EXITS.  Also, the biggest thing to do in any situation is to keep calm.  Panic causes people to make mistakes. Minimize panic and you will minimize your mistakes.”

JimOnLight:
What would you do if you heard some gunshots all of the sudden in the theatre, or the arena, you know?  What if someone starts shooting up the gig?  What’s the first objective?

Rick Reeves:
If you confirm gunshots, your objective should be to get to one of those exits you remembered with the least amount of resistance.  If you can help people move the same direction, do so.  But there is no sense in risking your life at this point. If you cannot safely exit the area, find cover and do NOT attract attention to yourself.  Don’t rush, but exit when you are able, but until then, HIDE!”

JimOnLight:
Is there any room for heroism in these situations, or is that just some thinking that would get more of us killed?

Rick Reeves:
“The only way I am going to be a hero is if I am guaranteed success AND it is for sure going to get me laid.  Both big ifs.  Once you are safe, call 911 or whatever emergency service you can.  Know the emergency number for the country you are in, everyone doesn’t use 911.”

Don Giovanni-Scenic, Lighting, and Projection by Me. Costumes and photograph Kasey Allee-Foreman, Director William Ferrara

Don Giovanni-Scenic, Lighting, and Projection by Rick Reeves. Costumes and photograph by Kasey Allee-Foreman, Director William Ferrara

JimOnLight:
Can you share any advice on watching the crowd or things that might look out of place?  Is this just a common sense thing?

Rick Reeves:
“People up to no good look uncomfortable.  When you are waiting for the show to start, people watch.  Who looks uncomfortable, who looks out of place?  If it is 90 degrees outside and there is a guy with a big coat on?  Big question marks go off in my head. It won’t be that obvious because terrorists are smart and train on blending in, so spotting a bad guy before they do something bad is not easy.”

JimOnLight:
You know me, you know I love my guns.  Help me dispel the bullshit about being a hero at a gig — what can you say to those of us who have concealed carry permits and some training?

Rick Reeves:
“I cannot stress to you enough that these guys are not stupid.

They want to kill you.
They train to kill you.

They have no other goals past this attack.

YOU don’t want to kill anyone.
YOU are not trained to kill anyone. (Maybe to shoot at a paper target, but not kill)
YOU have a lifetime of goals past this attack.

There is one exception:  If you have a gun that you can get out without being noticed, and there is a bad guy 7 feet in front of you with his back to you, and you KNOW you cannot miss from 7 feet, shoot him.  Then take all of the rest of the advice I gave you.”

rick-reeves-massive-balls

Just a reminder that some of those who make the greatest light and art also fought to make sure you can do that same thing right now.


ITEMS OF NOTE – THINGS TO LEARN

EMERGENCY PHONE CODES IN NON-UNITED STATES COUNTRIES

Matt and Rick, I cannot thank you guys enough for both your service, and for sharing your thoughts.

Rick mentioned knowing the EMERGENCY CODES for different countries abroad — so I found that the State Department actually publishes this document!  Here’s a link to that document — 911_ABROAD.  [Direct PDF link when you click]

ACTIVE SHOOTER TRAINING

Funny enough, this is actually available through FEMA (the Federal Emergency Management Administration):
http://training.fema.gov/is/courseoverview.aspx?code=IS-907

The Department of Homeland Security offers Active Shooter information:
http://www.dhs.gov/active-shooter-preparedness

Also — a PDF [direct PDF link] on Active Shooter Preparedness and Situational Awareness that you can print out and keep in your show minder from now on, really:

Active Shooter: How to Respond

A few excerpts from the brochure on Active Shooter Situations – and the potential shooters themselves

Employees [or concertgoers/theatregoers] typically do not just “snap,” but display indicators of potentially violent behavior over time. If these behaviors are recognized, they can often be managed and treated. Potentially violent behaviors by an employee may include one or more of the following (this list of behaviors is not comprehensive, nor is it intended as a mechanism for diagnosing violent tendencies):

  • Increased use of alcohol and/or illegal drugs
  • Unexplained increase in absenteeism; vague physical complaints
  • Noticeable decrease in attention to appearance and hygiene
  • Depression / withdrawal
  • Resistance and overreaction to changes in policy and procedures
  • Repeated violations of company policies
  • Increased severe mood swings
  • Noticeably unstable, emotional responses
  • Explosive outbursts of anger or rage without provocation
  • Suicidal; comments about “putting things in order”
  • Behavior which is suspect of paranoia, (“everybody is against me”)
  • Increasingly talks of problems at home
  • Escalation of domestic problems into the workplace; talk of severe financial problems
  • Talk of previous incidents of violence
  • Empathy with individuals committing violence
  • Increase in unsolicited comments about firearms, other dangerous weapons and violent crimes

Your human resources department and facility managers should engage in planning for emergency situations, including an active shooter scenario. Planning for emergency situations will help to mitigate the likelihood of an incident by establishing the mechanisms described below.

Human Resources – [should also fall to venue and promoter liability] Responsibilities:

  • Conduct effective employee screening and background checks
  • Create a system for reporting signs of potentially violent behavior
  • Make counseling services available to employees
  • Develop an EAP which includes policies and procedures for dealing with an active shooter situation, as well as after action planning Facility Manager Responsibilities
  • Institute access controls (i.e., keys, security system pass codes)
  • Distribute critical items to appropriate managers / employees, including: – Floor plans – Keys – Facility personnel lists and telephone numbers
  • Coordinate with the facility’s security department to ensure the physical security of the location
  • Assemble crisis kits containing: – radios – floor plans – staff roster, and staff emergency contact numbers – first aid kits – flashlights
  • Place removable floor plans near entrances and exits for emergency responders
  • Activate the emergency notification system when an emergency situation occurs

Reactions of Managers During an Active Shooter Situation:

  • Employees and customers are likely to follow the lead of managers during an emergency situation.
  • During an emergency, managers should be familiar with their EAP, and be prepared to:
    * Take immediate action
    * Remain calm
    * Lock and barricade doors
    * Evacuate staff and customers via a preplanned evacuation route to a safe area

Sounds pretty similar huh?  GET OUT OF THERE, AS CALMLY AND QUICKLY AS POSSIBLE.  AND DON’T GET SHOT BEING A HERO.

The FBI, for example, has put out a video called RUN, HIDE, FIGHT:  Surviving an Active Shooter Event:

If you watched that video, you’d know that our Federal Bureau of Investigation says to RUN THE FUCK AWAY first.  If you can’t do that safely, then HIDE YOURSELF AND OTHERS.  If all else fails and you’re concealed but the gunman or gunmen is coming to kill you, FIGHT TO THE DEATH TO INCAPACITATE THAT BASTARD or BASTARDS.

We need to talk to Grimey about some stuff now.  Matt and Rick, thank you for your service and for being Entertainment Industry players!

active-shooter-FBI

MOVE ON to Part 3 of
What If I’m Attacked at Work? A Crew Primer