Active Shooters in Hospital Environments

From the articles, it is clear that active shooters in hospital settings are a dangerous element that no security agent can predict. The only solution that security agents can give before the arrival of the shooter, as evident in the articles, is mitigation. The articles have converged at the agreement that there is not yet a way to profile an active shooter. Hospital environments have been described as stressful and this factor alone has been found to be culpable for active shooting.

The article by Security InfoWatch (2013) explained that active shooters do not just shoot. They plan and execute their attacks for various reasons, and according to Hospital Employee Health (2013), the motives include grudges, revenge, suicide, ending the life of a relative, or a patient trying to escape police custody. Balingit (2012) has detailed an event of an active shooter in a hospital and the event seemed well choreographed by the shooter since he was armed with two firearms and a hoard of bullets for replenishing his guns. All the articles agree that most of the active shooters are men. 

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The articles have mentioned about mitigation measures to prevent attacks but the only article that mentions how to mitigate against an active shooter is The Joint Commission (2014) which captures the necessary preparations hospitals should make to ensure that an active shooter is stopped in his/her tracks. Top on the list is to involve local law enforcement, have a ready communication plan, have well thought out processes and procedures to ensure patient and employee safety during an attack, and lastly, train and drill employees to develop their cognitive skills in readiness for a bad day.  


Security InfoWatch. (2013). Responding to active shooters in hospitals. SecurityInfoWatch.Com. Retrieved from

Hospital Employee Health. (2013). Most hospital shootings are not preventable. Retrieved from

Balingit, M. (2012, March 9). Hospital shootings shock Oakland 2 dead, 7 injured at Western Psych; Police kill gunman in exchange of fire. Pittsburgh Post – Gazette. Retrieved from

The Joint Commission. (2014, July). Preparing for active shooter situations. Quick Safety. Retrieved from:

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