What Went Right During the Arapahoe High School Active Shooter Incident

Fast responses by the school custodian, teachers, SRO and security officer saved lives.

Very often after a tragedy we look at what was wrong and ways we can improve our responses.  Although mistakes can be very effective teachers, we can learn from each other’s successes too.

Take, for example, how school staff, teachers, campus police and security personnel reacted during the active shooter incident that occurred at Arapahoe High School near Denver on Dec. 13. Local authorities are crediting their fast actions as the reason why more people weren’t killed or injured during the attack.

Shortly after the shooting began, a custodian quickly recognized what was happening and called for a lockdown of the campus, reports TheDenverChannel.com. The fact that the gunman’s target evacuated from the school probably also helped to reduce the amount of bloodshed. Additionally, teachers acted quickly, locking their classroom doors and having students shelter in place.

To top it all off, the armed SRO and unarmed security officer who rushed to where the shooter was located probably prompted the gunman to take his own life rather than continue shooting or searching for his target.

Although no one can ever bring back the student who died as a result of this incident — nor the shooter himself — we can use this incident as an example of how situational awareness and quick actions can save many lives.

Read the full story.

Related Articles:

If you appreciated this article and want to receive more valuable industry content like this, click here to sign up for our FREE digital newsletters!

About the Author

robin hattersley headshot

Robin has been covering the security and campus law enforcement industries since 1998 and is a specialist in school, university and hospital security, public safety and emergency management, as well as emerging technologies and systems integration. She joined CS in 2005 and has authored award-winning editorial on campus law enforcement and security funding, officer recruitment and retention, access control, IP video, network integration, event management, crime trends, the Clery Act, Title IX compliance, sexual assault, dating abuse, emergency communications, incident management software and more. Robin has been featured on national and local media outlets and was formerly associate editor for the trade publication Security Sales & Integration. She obtained her undergraduate degree in history from California State University, Long Beach.

Leading in Turbulent Times: Effective Campus Public Safety Leadership for the 21st Century

This new webcast will discuss how campus public safety leaders can effectively incorporate Clery Act, Title IX, customer service, “helicopter” parents, emergency notification, town-gown relationships, brand management, Greek Life, student recruitment, faculty, and more into their roles and develop the necessary skills to successfully lead their departments. Register today to attend this free webcast!

Get Our Newsletters
Campus Safety HQ