Monday, June 13, 2016

Why the Police waited to assault the terrorist in Orlando. This is my take.

William asked this question and I thought it deserved discussion among the tribe members.
Do you have any clue why the police waited 3 hours to storm
the club in Orlando? Hasn't the procedure since Columbine been
that you have to get in there asap to stop an active shooter?
I'm surprised people not talking about that.
This is my take and I'm not up on current police tactics but this is what I learned back in the day when I trained to take on the bad guy while a member of the armed forces.

Hasty Entry/In Extremis Hostage Rescue. 

This is a nightmare scenario and once the USMC taught its infantry battalions this skill.  "In Extremis" was used to define this type operation because it means extremely difficult, a terrible situation and chances of success are small but it must be done.  Consider this.  You and your men are stacked outside a building.  You're about to make entry against a highly motivated (we can assume that this terrorist was highly motivated by the body count) and seemingly decently equipped person that you have info might have had explosives devices on him.

Lack of proper recon.

This is a building block approach with regard to this blog post.  You know the basic problem so now I'm fleshing it out.  If you make a hasty entry then you're walking in blind.  You have no idea of the layout of the building, possible hiding places and worse you have no idea of the load bearing walls.  If the terrorists have explosives then as soon as you assault they could bring the whole building down on you.

Barricaded person or active shooter?

This part is pure police stuff so I could easily be wrong, but from what I've read after the shootout with the off duty officer the slaughter in the club went down rather quickly.  The responding officers got info of what was going on
and secured the perimeter.  This is where stuff gets difficult at least from my chair.  Was this guy still an active shooter or did he become a barricaded person.  Additionally I don't know how Orlando police are equipped.  I don't know if they have patrol carbines.  I'm pretty sure that the vests they wear aren't rated to stop rifle bullets.  Would you charge into a building after the shooting had stopped or would you simply wait for SWAT to arrive to deal with a relatively (by way of the media...I don't consider the terrorist loadout to be anything extreme) well armed individual?

The actions of Orlando police.

Back to William's question.  Orlando police were faced with a nightmare scenario.  A terrorist with people in a confined space.  He was well armed and there were reports of him having explosives.  Upon arrival on scene they only had flustered and differing accounts from survivors.

Once the perimeter was set and SWAT got on the scene they needed plans for the building.  They needed to take into account the fact that they were facing booby traps.  They needed to determine where he was in the building and decide how they were going to engage him with hopefully no casualties to the assault force.

Long story short is that you have a few people that are outraged that they assaulted after 3 hours.  If I commanded that unit you'd be really pissed at me.  The dude was barricaded.  We had time on our side.  I would have waited another 5 hours minimum to let the adrenaline rush wear off and for his body to crash.  

The bad guy got shot in the face...which is a VERY good thing.  Many are second guessing the actions of police but from where I'm sitting they did it right.  If anything the assault happened a little too soon.

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