Active shooter situations are usually quick and surprising — so just how prepared are concealed carry holders?
WFAA-TV decided to find out. Building off the National Rifle Association CEO Wayne LaPierre’s famous statement that “the only thing that stops a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun,” the news station decided to put a group of “good guys” to the test and enlisted the help of Shawn Clary, a SWAT team member and tactical instructor with 22 years experience as a “bad guy.”
The good guys had myriad levels of experience. Matthew Beeman, 41, had just six hours of training; Brian Martin, 30, had 10 hours of training; Mary Bannan, 67, had 25 hours of training; and Royce Hardin, 68, had 50 hours of training.
All of the participants were armed with training pistols that shot pellets and wore helmets and goggles. Clary had an AK-47 that shot pellets and was protected by body armor — something the contestants were not made aware of. The four would have to shoot him in the head, neck or pelvis in order to “kill” him.
In the first situation, the participants — or “good guys” — were in a tall cubicle. Clary acted the part of a disgruntled employee who entered the building and fired a few warning shots — giving the participants a split second to determine whether they wanted to shoot the assailant or hide.
First up was Martin. When the “bad guy” entered the mock workplace, he stayed in his cubicle, using his chair as cover. When Clary came near, he opened fire and hit him with two fatal rounds.
Next was Beeman. When he heard the gunshots, he scrambled into a nearby darkened cubicle and also opened fire — fatally hitting the “bad guy.”
When it was Bannan’s turn, she also stayed in her cubicle. Yet, when she opened fire on Clary, she either missed or hit his vest.
Hardin also stayed crouched in his cubicle, and when the gunman made his way near to him, he opened fire — hitting him only in the vest.
“I shot him in the vest on purpose,” Hardin said after the exercise. “I didn’t want to hit him in the head, because it wasn’t real life to me.”
The simulation was overseen by Travis Bond, managing member of the DFW Shooters Academy, an instructor with 32 years of training and law enforcement experience.
Watch one of the scenarios below and read about how the others went at WFAA-TV.