Review: Active Shooter Response – Paul Howe

Active Shooter Response with Pawl Howe

In preparation to the Trauma First Responder course I picked up and viewed the new video from Paul Howe and Panteao titled: Civilian Response to Active Shooter.

Active Shooter Response

He starts off by stating that most active shooters are of the ‘lone wolf’ variety and if there is any from of opposition they usually, most often, kill themselves.  This does seam to be the current norm when it comes to active shooters in the US. They pick easy targets and rarely does a two way gun fight take place.

Civilian Response


Paul Howe goes into some detail about what one should Every Day Carry (EDC). This i find is a good way to start this type of discussion and video. One is not going to be rushing in in full tactical gear ready to fight. So by having gear you can access on your person, in your vehicle, at your common locations (work, where ever) is a great idea. Goes from a daily shoulder bag to a larger Bug Out bag, and during his explanations has some pretty nice tips such as the use of colored lights and tags.

He then discusses the medical kit you should have with you. Covers the ABCs of trauma care but adds a interesting note that you should pack gauze into the wound. He says think of a gunshot wound like this: make a fist and loosen it up enough so there is a whole going through. Now think of that as a gunshot wound. Will just covering the top with pressure work? He recommends actually packing the gauze/quickclot into the hole itself. I asked about this to the EMT at my trauma course, because it did seam like a good idea. He generally said it was unnecessary and that’s not how they do it, but that doesn’t mean it should not be done, as for EMTs are usually a few years behind the military. So i figure its just another option to have.

Once you have your gear set up (about half the video at least) he then went into the first situation.

Exterior Contact

He starts with exterior contact, as you your driving and you come across a active shooter outside. The shooter does not know you are there and your gonna sneak up on him. He does not show you or discuss anything related to vehicle gun fighting other than ‘use it for cover’. So don’t expect much here, he just shows up, ‘sneaks up’ and shoots. He does make a good point about keeping your handgun down and holding off drawing until your ready because you don’t want to be mistaken as the bad guy yourself. I was disappointed in that he did not have much to say about contacting outside, or anything really involving vehicles, but i guess he is saving that for another DVD.



Interior Contact

He then goes into what will happen if you come across a active shooter inside a building. As in your walking by and you see a dead/wounded body and you think ‘oh man there could be shooter still here’ . He doesn’t really go into if you should go after the shooter or not, he just kind of starts looking for him. He also never covers what to if you are at the location and the shooter walks in on you. Just you going after the shooter.

So with that he covers some basic hallway and room tactics, cutting the pie and all that. Until he finds the bad guy and then engages. Once he has secured the area, he then will start working on the injured. He also showed a few tests with shooting through glass and how that can effect accuracy. He also talked about being careful about finding and linking up with other people because you don’t want to look like the bad guy. He also shows us how to build a pretty nifty target stand.


I liked the first half, he went into some good details about bags and EDC gear, pretty informative stuff. The application though in the second half leaves a lot to be desired. In the exterior portion he only talks about what to do if the bad guy doesn’t see you and your able to sneak up close enough and give him a good head shot. He goes into no detail about anything else. Does not really cover getting out of a vehicle, or fighting around a vehicle, or what if the bad guy sees you, or what if you miss. There is a lot of things that is not covered here. I do understand that vehicle gun fighting can be its own DVD set, but to just show what would happen if your able to sneak up on him is a bit short sighted as well.

Interior is not all that much better. He only covers if you happen to come across a clue that there is a shooter, as in you see a body on the floor. And just like with the outside, its pretty much you sneaking up on the bad guy. No talk of what to do if you are somewhere and the BG stands up or walks in and starts shooting. Nope, just if you come across some clues and you decide to go hunting. He does spend some time covering basic hallway, doorway, room clearing stuff. He also spends some time talking about how you need to be really careful not to come across as the bad guy.

There are some good parts here and there but this really isn’t so much a Civilian Active Shooter Response video as it is a really toned down (i hope) police active shooter response video. Its worth a watch if you are part of Panteao’s streaming service, but i think its missing to much to be a recommended buy.


Looks like Paul Howe back in 2007 or so wrote a short article about this topic. Its worth a read and pretty much covers everything the video did just more broadly:


+ Really liked the gear bag information at the beginning


– Not much in here that is not covered better separately
– Its like they combined the intro pats of a lot of other courses

FINAL – Not recommended

Robert Klenka
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