RISKAlert Case Study # 840, Dead Body in the Pickup

Dateline:  February 17, 2016

A Florida Man Shot his Neighbor to Death, Put the Body
in the Back of his Pickup Truck and Took It to his Lawyer’s Office

A Fort Myers, Florida man shot his neighbor to death during a struggle before loading the body into the back of his pickup truck and driving it to a lawyer’s office, according to the News Press of Fort Myers, Marshall claimed he shot the neighbor
in self defense.

Lawyer Robert Harris, said that John Marshall (the shooter), walked into his Fort Myers law firm claiming he had shot and killed neighbor Ted Hubbell in self-defense and had the body outside in the bed of his pickup.

The shocked attorneys called 911 and Marshall  spent hours at Harris’ office before finally leaving for the hospital around 10:30 p.m. that night.  Marshall had a swollen lip, missing tooth and what appeared to be two broken thumbs.

Death Investigation

According to attorney Robert Harris, John Marshall
wrestled a gun away from neighbor Hubbell and
fatally shot him earlier Wednesday. Harris said late
Wednesday that Marshall will not be arrested,
because he shot in self defense.
Lessons Learned:

1.   Avoid fights with neighbors.

2.   If a fight seems unavoidable, call 911 and wait for police in a safe area.

3.   Do not transport a body to your lawyers office in the bed of your
pick up truck!

RISKAlert® is a publication of Risk & Security LLC
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Active Shooter kills at least 4, injures 15 at mower plant in Hesston, Kansas tonight

RISK Alert # 828                         BREAKING NEWS!     
 #828,  Dateline:  February 25, 2016

Join us to discuss this incident in a special webinar tomorrow at 11 am EST. No Cost,
and here’s the registration linkhttp://bit.ly/1PUzjEq

Hesston, Kansas Sheriff Reports that 4-7 people have been killed and at least 20-30 people injured at the Excel mower factory in south central Kansas tonight.

Sheriff T. Walton said at a news conference Thursday evening there are “a number of crime scenes involved,” including the Excel Industries plant in Hesston, north of Wichita, which manufactures lawn mower products. The suspect, who Walton said was or had been a painter at Excel Industries, was fatally shot by authorities.

The shooting, currently characterized as a workplace violence incident, happened about 8:30 pm CST in the Excel Industries parking lot, and spread to two other locations.  Similar to Chattanooga’s shooting, the shooter drove to different locations, shooting from his car windows, until he entered the Excel Industries facility.hesston-Kansas-feb25-2016-3

The exact number of victims and casualties were uncertain because the shootings  went on in different locations.

The shooter has been identified as Cedric Ford, and that he shot several people in other locations before heading to Excel Industries parking lot, where he shot another person in the parking lot, and then entered the Excel building, where he shot fifteen other individuals.

The sheriff reported that the shooter used a long gun, something like an assault rifle – he also had a pistol on him.  Sheriff Walton added:

“We always talk about, ‘it can’t happen here, and everybody says, It can’t happen here.’ But it’s all those places that it happens at and here we are. It happened here… “This is a fairly peaceful community  and to have something like this is tragic.”

How to Get Management’s Attention for Security – Shooter Kills Administrator

Every Security Officer I’ve ever met has mentioned how difficult it can be to get funding for additional security!  It is a never-ending mission, to get the budget for a security program that will truly protect an organization.

Hospitals are no exception.  They have suffered their own financial problems and because security is not seen as a ‘clinical’ or ‘patient care’ issue, it is easy to take money from security and put it somewhere else.

But there’s one sure way to get management’s attention for Security — having a security incident.  And if you don’t have one at your organization, high profile security incidents at other facilities will all grab management’s attention.

In my Risk-Pro Security Incident Report today, a shooter killed four, wounded three, and then killed himself.   What was unusual about this incident was that the shooter went to the Hospital Administrator’s house and shot the administrator dead, and then shot his wife, who was taken to a local hospital.

Houma,LA Shooter

Most executives and administrators think about security as sort of an abstract concept, that doesn’t directly affect them.  But it might, and by sending your management a copy of our Risk-Pro Incident Report, you’ll get their attention this time!

(Subscribe to the Risk-Pro Incident Report program by sending an email with the word SUBSCRIBE on it to info@riskandsecurityllc.com)

 

 

What’s Your Active Shooter Risk? How to Assess the Threat.

Just the idea of an Active Shooter in your organization, whether you’re a military base, like Fort Hood, and the Washington Navy Yard, or a school like Sandy Hook, a beauty shop, a cracker factory in Philadelphia, a retail mall, a movie theatre, a grocery store parking lot, or a hundred other places, is a terrifying thought.

I lived about 3 miles from one of the shooting sites, a gas station, used by the Beltway Snipers back in October, 2002.  They killed ten people, totally at random, and critically injured three others.   Both of the snipers were sentenced, and John Muhammad was killed by lethal injection in 2009.

If you lived in the DC area, do you remember how scary it was just to pump gas into your car,  people were huddled against the side of their cars in the gas stations, and hidden by their shopping carts at the local Home Depots.

The fear of the Active Shooter comes from the seeming randomness of the action, which means there’s no way to prevent it, unless you give up, stay home, and hide under the bed all day.

But there are things you can do.  Instead of thinking of an Active Shooter incident as a totally unique situation, it’s really a form a Workplace Violence, Gas Station Violence, Parking Lot Violence and other related forms of random violence.   In fact, the Department of Homeland Security has identified quite a few steps you can take to keep yourself safer if you are in the vicinity of an active shooter (http://www.dhs.gov/active-shooter-preparedness).

Most of the shooters are mentally ill.  Normal individuals do not enjoy planning and killing strangers, and it is usually a last ditch effort, with the suicide of the shooter as the grand finale.   Their actions can sometimes be identified early, and the police can be alerted, or the Human Resources group at work, or even the local Sheriff can intervene before it gets to the actual shooting.

ActiveShooter-Florida

Signs that someone is having trouble negotiating their life, especially if that someone is a gun fanatic, with their living room full of AK-47 assault weapons and hollow point bullets, is not hard to spot, because these individuals often leave lots of warning signs, like:

  • Irrational Posts on Facebook or inappropriate tweets.
  • Threats made against friends and family.
  • A dropoff in personal hygiene, as the person gets more obsessed.
  • Problems negotiating their personal life.
  • Demonstrating signs of isolation and groundless paranoia

Organizations can protect themselves from an potential active shooter through a combination of specific controls that include elements like access control, continuous monitoring of cameras, employee awareness and training programs, clear cut evaluation routes, regular active shooter drills, and hardening of facilities, to name a few.

One of the best preventive measures is to conduct an Active Shooter Risk Assessment, which is similar to other security analyses, except that it is focused on a particular set of threats related to an Active Shooter Incident.   As part of my annual Threat Trend Reports, I’ll be releasing a new set of threat data about the Active Shooter, to help organizations calculate their risk of
having such an incident.   For example, did you know that the number of active shooter incidents has jumped from 1 in 2002 to 21 incidents in 2010?

ActiveShooterIncidentsbyYear

Locations have changed, too, and we found that

  • About 25% of active shooter incidents occur in schools,
  • About 25% in retail locations, and
  • About 37% in workplaces.

In future blogs, we’ll be looking at each element of the active shooter incident, and providing more information to keep your organization safe.

Has it Been Only Two Weeks since the Navy Yard Shootings?

When i wrote my blog about the Shootings at the Washington Navy Yard on September 16th, I got some nasty notes about “Why did you have to write about this so soon after it happened?”

Well – I guess the fact that after about 15 days, no one can even remember the incident (8 people shot to death); the name of the shooter (Aaron Alexis), or much of the details.  It seems that people have decided that it was a mentally distributed person, so couldn’t have
been prevented.  This is completely wrong.

One of the issues that security directors have is how to make their organization aware of the active shooter threat without terrifying them.  How do you get a large group of people out of the “It can’t happen here” mindset?   One of the main ways to bring an issue back home is by using the incident as a security awareness notice.

Write a “Lessons Learned” email and send it to everyone in the organization.  Follow it up
with a purse and wallet card with reminders on what to do when faced with an Active Shooter situation.

Keep everyone informed on what happens after the incident – how the injured are doing, and more importantly, what changes the organization has made to ensure that it won’t happen again.

Try doing a simple threat-risk assessment to illustrate to management what the chances of having an active shooter incident actually are, based on the industry, the region, and the number of problems/complaints that employees have expressed in the past.

Don’t let anyone forget that this can happen to any organization, no matter how well funded, or how secure they think they are.  Remember, if it could happen in a DOD military facility – it could happen to YOU!

Navy Yard Shooting Highlights Effect of Cuts to Navy Security

Security professionals around the entire were shocked and dismayed when they turned on the news and saw the historic Washington Navy Yard locked down, surrounded by emergency vehicles, and looking for an active shooter.

All the shock, the outrage, the Defense Department reaction, the involvement of the overlapping law enforcement jurisdictions, has apparently been already forgotten by the public, moved to the virtual ‘old story’ pile by the latest news of a mall shooting in Kenya, meeting at the UN, and the politics as usual in Washington DC.

If you graph it online, you can see the dramatic spike and then the dramatic drop-off in interest by the general public. This highlights what the security community has to deal with, in the context of a 24 hour news cycle.

My perspective on the event was personal because one of my very best friends was in Building 197 that day, a former navy commander, now a contractor, who went to work at 5 am that morning, and finally returned home at 9 pm that night.  Unlike many shootings, the PCs, smartphones were all up and operational during the event, so people were instantly able to communicate with friends and relatives as the event unfolded.

Rumors ran rampant that it was terrorism related, that there were three shooters, then that rumor switched to two shooters and eventually to only one shooter, Alexis Aaron, a mentally disturbed young man who had previous events of gun violence and yet had a top secret security clearance at the time of the shooting.

If we took a poll three weeks ago and asked people which facility would they judge to be the safest, the results
would probably look something like this:

1. Military Base in the U.S.
2. Hospital
3. Regional Mall
4. Police Station

Unfortunately – this is more like a list of the places where a shooting is more likely to take place.  As all the work in workplace violence statistics shows, a domestic Military Base has been the site of two mass shootings in only the last 4 years.  This includes the twelve killed and eight wounded at the Washington Navy Yard, as well as the thirteen killed and twenty injured at the Fort Hood shooting in late 2009.  That’s an average of 6 killed each year, and 8 injured, and doesn’t take into account any random shootings, training-related injuries, only the mass shootings.

Hospitals have increased in violent incidents every year for the last ten years, and we just witnessed a mass shooting at a Kenyan Mall.

However, the hospital and the mall are both completely OPEN, they want people to come in, they don’t control access at all.  This is what is so surprising about the Navy Yard shootings, the lack of security, lack of enough armed guards, lack of current background checks, lack of metal detectors, lack of retina scanners, and every other usual form of security control.

Speculation is that the key controls were missing because of budget cuts, which means that the Navy made the decision to reduce security controls, instead of cutting other, less critical programs.  The incident makes a strong case for examining the potential Return on Investment for security controls!

Even if the shooter’s background check was “current”, it certainly had not been updated based on his own recent events, and brushes with the police, and, of course, the anger and mental health problems appears again, and is shrugged off as too tough to manage and track.

However, it is a wake up call for the U.S. Navy, the Department of Defense, the U.S. Capital Police, and a variety of other organizations who “Secure” the Washington DC Capitol zone, and it leads to more questions than answers.

Already, the questions are starting about what controls SHOULD be in place for all military bases, and, naturally, re-examining the background check process and how it could be updated and improved.

Let’s not forget this time.


My webinar on Wednesday, September 25, 2013, focuses on what happened that day, and what results from the tragic event, 
(and you can pull up a seat at your PC to watch it live at 3 pm by registering at this link: https://www4.gotomeeting.com/register/299735503.

After The Surgeon Kills Girlfriend at the Hospital – what next?

Time for a Workplace Violence Assessment? You think?

The shooting death of 33-year-old Jacqueline Wisniewski at Erie County Medical Center left the community in shock last week, especially since the shooter was a surgeon!

The surgeon’s body was found Friday, near his home, with a self-inflicted gunshot to the head. And this tragedy illustrates why EVERY hospital and medical center should be required to do a Baseline Workplace Violence Assessment.

The warning signs were there, the surgeon had lost weight, had become moody and distant, and also had advanced special forces weapons training in his background.

That’s exactly why he passed a background check, but after that initial check, his blatant symptoms of personal problems were ignored, even by the very people who observed them.

Now the hospital staff is traumatized, a beautiful young nurse is dead, the Eric County Medical Center administrators can look forward to an in-depth OSHA investigation, with possible fines and even more disruption.

Don’t let your hospital be a victim of this kind of incident. A Workplace Violence Assessment can be completed in just 5 days, and will reduce the chance of a potential violent incident by over 75%.

Email me directly to get the new white paper on how to prevent workplace violence incidents at caroline-hamilton@att.net.