Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Cho Killed 30 in 9 Minutes

You've heard the numbers before -- most active-shooter scenarios last between 4 and 17 minutes...

According the the Associated Press, initial police estimations are that the Virginia Tech murderer, Cho, killed 30 of his victims in the engineering within nine minutes.

Nine minutes.

Is nine minutes a short time or a long time? Depends on which side of the equation you are on. If you are a campus cop or local constable, then nine minutes is a flash when you have to respond to a confusing and chaotic situation that may be completely across campus. It's impossible for the SWAT team to suit-up and deploy in that time frame.

It's an eternity if you are one of the students trapped in the engineering building. You hear the loud shots ringing out. All of you look at each other, what is that -- gunshots? You are trapped in a classroom that only has one doorway. Do you flee? Do you hide under a desk? Your mind is reeling, what are you supposed to do?

Some witnesses reported several encounters with Cho as he approached, tried the classroom door handle, and returned to shoot into the classroom door. That entire cycle could have happened in just 20 or 30 seconds. Think about how long it must have felt like during that entire massacre. Cho may have fired anywhere from 50 to 170 shots during that time.

Nine minutes and 30 students lay dead.

We've said it before and we'll say it again -- the cops can't save you during an active-shooter scenario. There's just not enough time.

You have to save yourself.

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