'Active shooter' training prepped MPD officers for Oak Court Mal - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

'Active shooter' training prepped MPD officers for Oak Court Mall shooting

On Thursday, what happened at the mall was not a drill. One man did get injured. On Thursday, what happened at the mall was not a drill. One man did get injured.
An active shooters is described as someone in a confined and populated area, systematically killing people at random. An active shooters is described as someone in a confined and populated area, systematically killing people at random.

(WMC-TV) - Memphis Police Department now describes Thursday night's shooting at Oak Court Mall as a "conventional shooting." The initial calls described the possibility of an "active shooter," which is a law enforcement term that MPD specifically prepared for at the mall.

An active shooters is described as someone in a confined and populated area, systematically killing people at random.

"Active shooter events in my opinion are probably one of the most stressful events that law enforcement is being forced to face with in the modern age," said MPD Active Shooter Program Coordinator Robert Carlson.

Robert Carlson conducts MPD's active shooter classes, which train officers on how to respond.

"It requires a lot of experience and a cool head to be able to make that assessment and figure out what is the best response tactic," said Carlson.

On September 22, 2013, police officers swarmed Oak Court Mall for an "active shooter" drill.

Seventeen volunteers pretended to be dead, while 72 pretended to be injured ... with a shooter still on the loose.

On Thursday, what happened at the mall was not a drill. One man did get injured.

Police now say it all stemmed from an ongoing argument between two groups of people. But when officers first responded to the call, they were not aware of those circumstances.

"You have to go in preparing for the worst, so at least you're prepared for it," said Carlson, who added that everyone had to revert to September's exercise at Oak Court Mall. "The response that we saw last night from the mall, as well as the officers, was a direct reflection of that. Everybody knew exactly what to do, where to go, and it's really standardizing the training as well as making it more effective and more realistic."

The more realistic the better. MPD is stressing preparation for these situations. Beginning in April, every MPD officer will be required to complete the "active shooter" training.

Copyright 2014 WMC-TV. All rights reserved.

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