Police: Lone shooting suspect is dead

The lone suspect in the shooting at a Jacksonville gaming tournament is deceased, Jacksonville sheriff Mike Williams told reporters at a press conference.

Posted: Aug 27, 2018 10:27 PM
Updated: Aug 27, 2018 10:45 PM

We live in an era where it is ridiculously easy for anyone with a grievance to get a deadly weapon and shoot people. And since feckless leadership from our policymakers has left us all with little confidence of any lasting change, each of us must unfortunately take proactive steps of our own to increase our chances of survival, should we encounter a situation like this weekend's deadly shooting in Jacksonville, Florida.

The grim reality is that increasing our situational awareness may be the difference between life and death.

There is still much we do not know about the 24-year-old man who opened fire, killing two young men and wounding nine others before killing himself at the GLHF Game Bar Sunday afternoon. But in the coming days investigators will pore over his life, digital footprint, and associates in an effort to make sense of this violence.

The national conversation will turn, as it always does, to potential warning signs, missed signals, and the availability of guns on our streets. There will be anger from the public at the carnage, then calls for action, and then elected officials will quickly move on to other issues once the latest tragedy recedes into memory, as we return to our lives -- helpless to do anything.

But are we?

Although concerned citizens must keep applying pressure on our representatives to act on issues of mental health that, along with shamefully easy access to weapons of war, produce mayhem in America, we must also realize there are small actions we can individually take to prepare for the day our own worlds are rocked by violence.

And for this, it will help to start thinking like a law enforcement officer.

At police and defensive academies around the country, instructors teach the "color code" concept made famous by the late security professional Jeff Cooper. Cooper suggested four conditions of situational awareness that help officers prepare to identify and respond to deadly force situations.

In condition White, an officer is completely oblivious -- a state of mind no one recommends. In Yellow, a law enforcement professional is relaxed, but aware of their physical surroundings and the people around them. They are not overcome by paranoia, but naturally observe and process the actions of those nearby and mentally run through a series of "what if" scenarios.

In conditions Orange and Red, a police officer moves from identifying a potential threat to breaking leather and drawing their weapon.

From a practical standpoint for average citizens, it is condition Yellow that we should maintain while out in public, at the office, or in any environment over which we do not have complete control.

For example: When you're out to dinner, do you know where the exits are located? At the school or office, have you thought of where you might go in the event of an active shooter? When you're out for a run, where are the places on your route that may leave you the most vulnerable?

The time to gather this critical information and formulate a plan is well before tragedy strikes, since coursing of stress hormones and tunnel vision that occur when you are under threat make it nearly impossible to effectively assess surroundings and plan a response.

How many times have you seen someone walking down the street or sitting in a restaurant, head buried in a smart phone or simply spacing out, unaware of the world around them? We've all seen it and we've all done it. If something begins to happen, how long would it take to snap out of it and react?

The goal in avoiding condition White and instead living in condition Yellow is not to achieve a state of debilitating paranoia that makes us afraid of living our lives normally for fear of becoming a victim, but merely to maintain a state of awareness to match the uncertain times in which we live.

A security professional talking about lessons learned so soon after a tragedy like the one in Jacksonville risks the appearance of questioning the response of those who were injured or killed. That is not the purpose here. I was not there, and never would I second-guess any victim's actions from afar with the benefit of hindsight.

All indications are the shooter -- himself a gamer -- had what was on the surface a valid reason for being at the GLHF Game Bar Sunday. We cannot fault those who were simply there enjoying their day alongside him, unaware that something was terribly wrong.

But we can try to add a small element of situational awareness into our own lives going forward from this weekend, another in which a firearm was used against a crowd of innocent victims. It is a sad occurrence that has become all too common in modern day America, and one followed -- like an endless loop that goes nowhere -- by an outpouring of thoughts, prayers, and inaction by national leaders.

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 161516

Reported Deaths: 3916
CountyCasesDeaths
DeSoto10708104
Hinds10519205
Harrison7555113
Jackson6708128
Rankin6130112
Lee547697
Madison5202110
Forrest400187
Jones382189
Lauderdale3727147
Lafayette344057
Washington3367108
Lamar307550
Lowndes261167
Oktibbeha259962
Bolivar250185
Panola240253
Neshoba2311122
Marshall227151
Leflore213991
Monroe212278
Pontotoc211231
Lincoln200867
Sunflower195555
Warren184958
Tate184051
Union176826
Copiah172540
Pike168360
Pearl River163870
Yazoo162940
Scott162730
Itawamba162637
Alcorn160428
Coahoma157844
Prentiss156732
Simpson155153
Adams148352
Grenada147145
Leake143344
Holmes135761
Covington135541
Tippah132530
George131725
Winston131726
Hancock130942
Wayne124924
Attala124735
Marion124248
Tishomingo114844
Chickasaw112132
Newton112129
Tallahatchie100727
Clay97127
Clarke95653
Jasper88523
Stone83115
Calhoun81513
Walthall79930
Montgomery78826
Carroll76315
Smith75716
Lawrence75214
Yalobusha74428
Noxubee74217
Perry69326
Tunica63519
Greene63022
Jefferson Davis60217
Amite59315
Claiborne59316
Humphreys55719
Quitman5117
Benton50518
Kemper49318
Webster47914
Wilkinson41322
Jefferson38712
Franklin3726
Choctaw3697
Sharkey33117
Issaquena1234
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 260359

Reported Deaths: 3776
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson34716513
Mobile20452370
Madison14215153
Tuscaloosa13755173
Montgomery12731243
Shelby1110278
Baldwin9341137
Lee801566
Morgan722855
Etowah692170
Calhoun6809121
Marshall675058
Houston552739
DeKalb512940
Cullman480246
St. Clair460357
Limestone455046
Lauderdale443357
Elmore432567
Walker3861112
Talladega381157
Jackson361623
Colbert341546
Blount315845
Autauga289342
Franklin262634
Coffee257717
Dale244454
Dallas234932
Chilton233641
Covington232434
Russell23153
Escambia206932
Tallapoosa190291
Chambers187551
Clarke164120
Pike163814
Marion148236
Winston144725
Lawrence137336
Pickens129720
Geneva12818
Marengo126724
Bibb125238
Barbour121429
Butler120042
Randolph107022
Cherokee106724
Hale101432
Fayette99916
Clay94825
Washington93921
Henry8996
Monroe84611
Lowndes82629
Cleburne80714
Macon77122
Crenshaw73330
Conecuh72914
Lamar7258
Bullock70919
Perry6987
Wilcox65518
Sumter59522
Greene44518
Choctaw43519
Coosa3824
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