When a gunman stormed a Kansas City shopping center in April, police employed a strategy that may have spared the kind of death toll wrought yesterday in Omaha, where a man killed nine people at a mall. The Kansas City star says that although two people were shot to death by the emotionally disturbed and suicidal gunman in Kansas City, police think the “active gunman” strategy saved many more lives.
Using lessons learned from the Columbine school shootings, officers confronted and felled the gunman before he could do additional harm. Previously, officers were taught to set up a perimeter and wait for tactical squads to respond. “You go in with what you've got,” Kansas City Police Capt. Rich Lockhart said. Omaha police apparently never had a chance to stop the gunman at the Westroads Mall. He killed himself before the first officers arrived. The Kansas City shooter, 51-year-old David Logsdon, had long-term alcohol and mental health problems, a relative later said. He also was facing financial problems and the possible loss of his house.