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J Emerg Manag. 2015 May-Jun;13(3):201-16. doi: 10.5055/jem.2015.0234.

Mitigating active shooter impact: Analysis for policy options based on agent/computer-based modeling.

Author information

  • 1Technology, Purdue University, West Lafayette, Indiana.
  • 2Discovery Park, Purdue Homeland Security Institute, Purdue University, West Layfayette, Indiana.
  • 3Doctoral Candidate, Computer and Information Technology; Purdue University, West Lafayette, Indiana.
  • 4Professor, Computer and Information Technology Director, Purdue University, West Layfayette, Indiana.


Active shooting violence at confined settings, such as educational institutions, poses serious security concerns to public safety. In studying the effects of active shooter scenarios, the common denominator associated with all events, regardless of reason/intent for shooter motives, or type of weapons used, was the location chosen and time expended between the beginning of the event and its culmination. This in turn directly correlates to number of casualties incurred in any given event. The longer the event protracts, the more casualties are incurred until law enforcement or another barrier can react and culminate the situation.


Using AnyLogic technology, devise modeling scenarios to test multiple hypotheses against free-agent modeling simulation to determine the best method to reduce casualties associated with active shooter scenarios.


Test four possible scenarios of responding to active shooter in a public school setting using agent-based computer modeling techniques-scenario 1: basic scenario where no access control or any type of security is used within the school; scenario 2, scenario assumes that concealed carry individual(s) (5-10 percent of the work force) are present in the school; scenario 3, scenario assumes that the school has assigned resource officer; scenario 4, scenario assumes that the school has assigned resource officer and concealed carry individual(s) (5-10 percent) present in the school.


Statistical data from modeling scenarios indicating which tested hypothesis resulted in fewer casualties and quicker culmination of event.


The use of AnyLogic proved the initial hypothesis that a decrease on response time to an active shooter scenario directly reduced victim casualties.


Modeling tests show statistically significant fewer casualties in scenarios where on scene armed responders such as resource officers and concealed carry personnel were present.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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