The NCSP Expands Research on Active Shooter and Aggressive Deadly Behavior Events

December 1, 2014


The National Center for Security & Preparedness (NCSP) is expanding and extending research efforts related to active shooter and aggressive deadly behavior (ADB) events. This is aligned with the NCSP's efforts to proactively develop and deliver guidance and training for responders in New York State and throughout the nation.

The NCSP's Policy, Intelligence, Exercise, and Simulation (PIES) section is compiling and updating a complete active shooter incident database spanning from 1976 to 2014. While the database focuses primarily on domestic US shooting incidents, the data set also includes important international incidents. In addition, it includes more broadly defined aggressive deadly behavior incidents (ADBs), such as the Boston Marathon Bombing. The data is drawn from multiple reports and sources and represents the efforts of multiple researchers in its development. The recent addition of state and city information has greatly expanded the scope and detail of future research efforts.

An initial analysis suggests that the acceleration in the number of U.S. active shooter events isn't a trend confined to the last 6 years. Rather, evidence suggests an increase in incidents over the last three decades. Although the total number of victims and fatalities has increased, preliminary evidence suggests that potentially preventable causes of death are being treated more effectively. This appears to be consistent with both improved medical procedures and rapid intervention strategies, including those being refined and advanced by the New York State Preparedness Training Center (SPTC) and the NCSP. Additional research is needed to confirm or expand upon these findings.

The NCSP is now zeroing in on immediate and long-term research topics. One goal of our research is to analyze trends in response times and hemorrhage-related fatalities to examine and track improvements related to training programs. The NCSP is also developing a database that details information on the impact of police departments purchasing and deploying survival kits that include tourniquets and hemostatic agents. Studies on the use and effectiveness of these kits for active shooter and ADB events will also be underway in the near future.