Police Response to Virginia Beach Shooting Slowed by Electronic Security Doors

A law enforcement official stands at an entrance to a municipal building that was the scene of a shooting the day before in Virginia Beach, Va. Police responding to the deadly mass shooting were unable to confront the gunman at one point because they didn’t have the key cards needed to open doors on the second floor. Whether the delay contributed to the death toll is unclear, but the episode illustrated how door-lock technology that is supposed to protect people can hamper police and rescue workers in an emergency. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky, File)


VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (AP) — Police responding to the deadly mass shooting at a Virginia Beach municipal building were unable to confront the gunman at one point because they didn’t have the key cards needed to open doors on the second floor.

Over the radio, they desperately pleaded for the electronic cards and talked of bringing in a sledgehammer, an explosive charge or other means of breaking down the doors.

The killer was eventually gunned down, and whether the delay contributed to the toll of 12 victims dead and four wounded is unclear. But the episode last week illustrated how door-lock technology that is supposed to protect people from workplace violence can hamper police and rescue workers in an emergency.

“That’s definitely a blind spot that this particular shooting has shown,” said Gregory Shaffer, a retired FBI agent and former member of the bureau’s elite hostage rescue team. “We need to make sure that first responders have full access to the building.”

The attacker, 40-year-old city engineer DeWayne Craddock, went from floor to floor shooting his co-workers in the rampage last Friday before he was finally killed on the second floor in a gun battle with police.

It was not clear how police finally got to Craddock. Virginia Beach police spokeswoman Linda Kuehn said police were unavailable to talk about the matter on Wednesday.

Police Chief James Cervera said the mayhem at the Virginia Beach Municipal Center lasted nearly 36 minutes from the time the gunman started shooting until police took him down.

At about the same time officers were evacuating terrified employees from the third floor, other officers were on the second floor, frantically trying to get to the gunman after he fired at them through doors and walls. On police scanners, officers could be heard becoming exasperated as they tried unsuccessfully to get into locked areas.

“We need access keys. The doors are locked, we need access keys. I know I’ve got citizens in one area of the second floor I can’t evacuate,” said one officer.

Key cards have become a standard feature of building security at workplaces around the country. The technology has been used for decades, but it wasn’t until after 9/11 that it really began to proliferate, said Tom Manger, a former police chief in Virginia and Maryland and now senior associate director of the Major Cities Chiefs Association.

“It became seen as best practice. And today it is seen by most people as not only best practice but as a necessity,” Manger said.

But in many workplaces, security experts say, police often lack quick access to cards or codes — a situation that could cost them precious minutes in a mass shooting. One exception is schools, which have been at the forefront in ensuring that police can quickly get inside with their own key cards or other methods.

Key card technology posed a problem for some of the police officers who responded to a shooting rampage at the Washington Navy Yard in 2013, according to a report by the city’s police. Aaron Alexis, a former Navy reservist, killed 12 people before being shot dead in the maze-like, 600,000-square-foot building.

A Washington police officer “had the presence of mind” to take a building access card from a deceased security guard, allowing a team of first responders to get into secure areas, the report said.

Police in some cities have made arrangements to install lock boxes containing key cards or keys outside public and private buildings. But Manger said “there’s not enough key cards and lock boxes in the world” to give emergency responders easy access to every building.

“There’s no option that’s perfect,” he said. “You’ve got to sort of tailor it the building and the situation. But what you can say universally is that this is a conversation and a discussion that needs to happen ahead of time to make sure that first responders can get to a place they need to go.”

In the case of the Virginia Beach shooting, the police department and the operations building where the shooting took place were part of the same complex, and police had to run maybe 300 yards to get there. Both the police and the departments inside the building are city agencies.

Shaffer said police are trained to break into buildings and often have the tools to do so, as the radio chatter about sledgehammers and explosives indicated, and he defended the handling of the mass shooting by the Virginia Beach force. He said police “definitely saved lives through their fast response.”

“They did exactly what they were supposed to do and ran toward the gunfire,” he said.


  1. avatar Mad says:

    Well insist on being armed at all times at work play or home and maybe someone could have blown this perverts face off

    1. avatar frank speak says:

      just another reason to assert that you can’t count on them to get to you in time…the solution is obvious and yet unacceptable to many….

    2. avatar Someone says:

      Exactly right.
      “We need to make sure that intended victims, who are the actual first responders, have not been disarmed before entering the building.”

    3. avatar Silander North says:

      This was another gun free zone:

      Virginia Beach shooting victim considered taking gun to work over concerns about colleague, lawyer says



      Kate Nixon considered taking a gun to work on May 31, the day a co-worker killed her and 11 others in the country’s deadliest mass shooting this year, an attorney for her family said on a radio show Monday.

      The public utilities engineer was concerned about DeWayne Craddock “as well as one other person,” said Kevin Martingayle, an attorney working with Nixon’s family. So on the night of May 30, Nixon had discussed with her husband, Jason, “whether or not she should take a pistol and hide it in her handbag,” Martingayle said. *** She decided against it because of a city policy that prevents employees from bringing weapons to work. ***

      — End quote —

  2. avatar WI Patriot says:

    “Police Response to Virginia Beach Shooting Slowed by Electronic Security Doors”

    Here’s the biggest question I have, the shooter resigned/quit by email that morning, WHY wasn’t his security badge deactivated…???
    WHO dropped the ball on that one…???

    While that wouldn’t have stopped him from killing people, it would’ve slowed or stopped him from gaining some access to the building and/or it’s interior…

    1. avatar Ark says:

      Why would it matter when he could just shoot someone and take their card?

      1. avatar WI Patriot says:

        Just that added delay could’ve saved some lives…

        1. avatar Geoff "I'm getting too old for this shit" PR says:

          “Just that added delay could’ve saved some lives…”

          You do realize that’s the *exact* same logic the Leftists use to chip away at our gun rights, don’t you?

          Like the days wait time to buy a handgun in many places…

      2. avatar strych9 says:

        It’s possible that this is exactly why the incident started in the parking lot.

        I wouldn’t expect a city government to be super on the ball about deactivating the guy’s card. It’s a city building, not a secure government installation.

        And the guy has intimate knowledge of the location, so he may have figured that they probably didn’t deactivate his keycard but why take the chance? Off someone in the parking lot, take their card and use that to be sure. Since it’s not like he’s trying to access a National Lab or a military base with actual security trying to prevent intrusion, that’s not a terrible plan.

    2. avatar Alexander says:

      He gave a two week notice. Didn’t quit yet.

      1. avatar Rusty Chains says:

        In secure locations I have worked, when you turned in your two week notice they terminated you, killed your access card, and paid you for that two weeks.

        1. avatar AGuyWithAGun says:

          And a security handed you a box of any personal affects at the door

        2. avatar Geoff "I'm getting too old for this shit" PR says:

          The smart ones pack that box themselves before resigning by e-mail…

        3. avatar tdiinva says:

          Government doesn’t work that way for people who are not fired for cause. I did my exit paperwork and turned in my badges and I left the building for good. I was escorted out by the security officer since I no longer had a badge.

  3. avatar former water walker says:

    Methinks De-wayne Craddock knew he’d have a “free-range” shoot. Oh and how about the report DeWayne was a MUSLIM?!? Nothing like the biggest cover up since LasVegas…but gun owners get screwed.

    1. avatar Vlad Tepes says:

      “Methinks De-wayne Craddock knew he’d have a “free-range” shoot. Oh and how about the report DeWayne was a MUSLIM?!? Nothing like the biggest cover up since LasVegas…but gun owners get screwed.”

      Conspiracy! Islamophobia! It was not to many years ago when Bill Graham went to Congress warning them that John F. Kennedy was a danger to America because he would turn the country into a Catholic Caliphate. Its hard to believe that in the 21st Century we still have people like you on the loose in society. It makes the perfect case for a mandatory 2 years in an institution of higher learning.

      1. avatar jwm says:

        If you’re the product of higher learning it makes the case for burning the system down and starting anew, vlad.

        1. avatar 12ga Reason says:


        2. avatar tdiinva says:

          Vlad is just a retreaded troll. He probably isn’t even Romanian. I am triggered at the appropriation of my mother’s culture.

      2. avatar 12ga Reason says:

        Islamophobia Is A Word Created By Fascists, Used By Cowards, To Manipulate Morons!!

        You are either a moron or an Islam apologist. Which is it?
        Get yourself educated before opening your dhimmi pie hole!!


      3. avatar George Washington says:

        Uh…. Look there you muzzie loving fool…
        I guess WE CHRISTIAN AMERICANS have no reason whatsoever to suspect a muzzie would do something like this….muzzies are a peaceful religion…..BULLSHIT!!!!!! BLAME YOUR MUZZIE BUDDIES FOR THE BAD RAP YOU RECEIVE FROM CHRISTIAN/AMERICANS….

        1. Please grow up and use your brain. Try really reading the Bible from front to back before you start calling your self Christian. Remember it is “Judge not lest you be judged.” And just out of curiosity…what does his religious affilation have to do with it?

      4. avatar frank speak says:

        have yet to see that his religious beliefs were relevant…

    2. avatar Knute(ken) says:

      The proof is in the very words the authorities choose to use.
      “whether the delay contributed to the toll of 12 victims dead and four wounded is unclear.”
      How can it possibly be “unclear”, now, a week later? They haven’t yet debriefed the officers involved? In a WEEK? When ARE they going to do their jobs? No, this has all happened already. The authorities know, but now they need a long time to get their stories all straight. And when they finally do release their story, it will a steaming pile of fresh and gooey horse shit, like most all other “official” versions.

      1. avatar Dude says:

        And by that time, there will be a shiny object somewhere else, and no one will be looking.

        1. avatar Knute(ken) says:

          That’s what they count on. But my memory must be longer than most….

  4. avatar Gadsden Flag says:

    Hotels provide housekeeping with pass key cards to gain access every room in the building, but the city police don’t have pass key cards to access city buildings. Am I the only one who sees something wrong with this?

    1. avatar Shire-man says:

      I work in a city building and all of the city office buildings here have lock boxes at the door with keycards in them and the city fire and police have the physical keys to those boxes. As far as cities go we’re pretty podunk so there really is no excuse.

      1. avatar J Gibbons says:

        Except that Leftists believe the police are the bad guys.

    2. avatar Hush says:

      The company who produces the cards and locks should be held accountable just like the antis want to hold gun manufacturers accountable!

  5. avatar Geoff "I'm getting too old for this shit" PR says:

    How ironic.

    What they thought would keep them ‘”Safe from gun violence” was exploited by the murderer to slaughter more people…

  6. avatar ROBERT Powell says:

    stupidity compounded by political-correct bullcrap mixed with democratic lack of logic equals tragic outcome.SOMETHING AS SIMPLE AS A MASTER-KEY CARD FOR POLICE could have prevented this high body count.PUSS-GUTTED POLITICANS MAKING SECURITY DECISIONS CAUSED THIS TRAGIC OUTCOME..

    1. avatar Paul says:

      Maybe I’m odd-man out. Why, exactly, do we want the police to have a master pass? Yeah, ohkay, in this instance, it’s a public building. But, before we call for some kind of policy – think. The cops are going to want a master pass for ALL electronic locks.

      1. avatar barnbwt says:

        It’s a common practice; keycard systems are generally part of a general security alert system (as opposed to purely access-denial), and police generally have a way into those systems, often by calling the company running them. You want the cops to be able to respond to a break-in, and to do that they have to be able to get in when no one’s around. A ‘master override’ is stupid, since it poses a massive set security risk, but an arrangement with the cops next door to give them a passcode or keycard of their own is perfectly reasonable. I’d be surprised if nothing like that was in place here, so it may be more likely that responding officers simply didn’t know about it/where it was at that instant, causing the issue. That’s an issue of training & planning, not law or civil rights.

      2. avatar Gadsden Flag says:

        If you note my previous post I said city police, city buildings. I don’t believe they should have keys to private property. Unless the property owner chooses to give keys to them.

    2. avatar Brian wright says:

      So you agree Police and Government Should have 1 Master KEY that OPens All locked doors. Um my Friend over here the Constitution would like to disagree with you.

      1. avatar barnbwt says:

        Also crafty thieves that would hack & duplicate said key almost immediately

    3. avatar Vlad Tepes says:

      “stupidity compounded by political-correct bullcrap mixed with democratic lack of logic equals tragic outcome.SOMETHING AS SIMPLE AS A MASTER-KEY CARD FOR POLICE could have prevented this high body count.PUSS-GUTTED POLITICANS MAKING SECURITY DECISIONS CAUSED THIS TRAGIC OUTCOME..”

      Or people like you that oppose mandatory Mental Health Checks for people who want to buy deadly weapons. This guy would have never got his “firearms purchase card”. But then again only civilized nations run by sane leaders have such programs in place.

      1. avatar Knute(ken) says:

        Yeah, because it’s worked so well for “sane” Australia. Puuullllleeeze get some brain cells.
        Geez. Would it possible for you to at least PRETEND that you possess a functional brain cell?

      2. avatar Knute(ken) says:

        Oh, we don’t have to go back even a few days. Look, low and behold, a fresh massacre of the helpless, and again, in a country with restrictive gun controls and your beloved, and “sane” (at least according to Vlad. I guess he’s the only sane one left, in his high opinion of himself), gun laws.

        Let me guess. You don’t think this should count, because it takes thousands of Malians to equal just one Amerikan, right?

      3. avatar Hush says:

        “This guy would have never got his “firearms purchase card”. OH! Yes as if there is only one way/meas to make a gun purchase. Vlad seems to think that those determined to do wrong will simply STOP if they can’t make a legal purchase. What a joke told by the world’s biggest Joker!

      4. avatar tdiinva says:

        I think we should extend your approach to all potentially deadly weapons. You should be required to have a mental health check to buy a sharp object, an automobile or baseball bat all of which have been used to kill people. And what about marshal arts? More people are beaten to death every year than shot with AR-15s.

      5. avatar Someone says:

        Deadly weapon is anything that’s been USED to cause mortal wounds. If I use a pen Jon Wick style and stab you in the eye to kill you, guess what – the pen is now deadly weapon.
        It’s never about the tool, Blood Sucker, and no one can stop an evil person from committing an evil deed by controlling legal market.
        Now if first of this asshole’s intended victims was not disarmed by gun free zone order and shot back, there would be no news of this. (And we wouldn’t have to read your brainless comments.)

    4. avatar frank speak says:

      more likely they didn’t anticipate something like this…but they should have…

  7. avatar MarkPA says:

    Our natural instinct is to search for THE solution; or, for some combination of a few solutions, that will solve the problem. But life isn’t like that.

    This post raises an important line of analysis. We should be thinking about: inside jobs; and, outside jobs. (Naturally, there is a range of possibilities in-between where an outsider can gather enough intelligence to have capabilities comparable to an insider.)

    A suicidal insider is so far ahead of the game that there is no preventative measure that can’t be defeated. In this case, give keys to the municipal police – but what if sheriff’s deputies arrive first? Keys in lock-boxes? Glue the lock-boxes shut with superglue. Thorough screening of insiders; but an insider can figure out how to avoid detection. Moreover, it’s hard to exclude (fire) an insider who is performing adequately; on what pretext?

    Security people are naturally inclined to resist disclosing preventative measures. But this could prove counter-productive. If your security measures are “black-box” then it’s hard to figure out how to defeat them. But, it’s easy for your measures to survive an audit; you don’t discover the flaws because you don’t want to find any. More auditors, more opportunity for the secrets to get outside the black-box. If your security measures are “white-box” then you have the whole universe of critics calling attention to your weaknesses. You don’t want this criticism.

    There is no way out; unless, of course, you are willing to let-go of your iron-fisted grip on finding THE perfect solution. The one thing; or combination of a few things, that will work! Then, and only then, can the search begin for a constellation of effective, economical, solutions.

    The typical voter easily accepts “if we could control/eliminate guns” solution. Once s/he buys-into this proposition and casts his ballot, his/her job is done. It remains for government officials to work-out the details. As each failure is printed above the fold there are more cries for “if we could do just this-much-more to control/eliminate guns” and the voter find this easily acceptable; he bought into it the first time.

    1. avatar Komrad says:

      “Security people are naturally inclined to resist disclosing preventative measures.”

      Thankfully, this attitude is changing quickly. Nowadays it’s all about having independent audits of your software and hardware and security researchers regularly disclose vulnerabilities if software/hardware developers refuse to. Unfortunately, physical security is lagging behind computer security in this regard, but that is changing too. OSDP is a relatively new open standard for keycard control systems that has already undergone some revisions.

      Look up BLEKey or any of Deviant Olam’s talks to see just how crap a lot of physical security (including gun safes) is these days.

    2. avatar barnbwt says:

      “Once s/he buys-into this proposition and casts his ballot, his/her job is done”

      Like most of life’s problems, this too is one of laziness.

    3. avatar Vlad Tepes says:

      to MarkPA

      “The typical voter easily accepts “if we could control/eliminate guns” solution.”

      Who are obviously light years more intelligent than you are. It just so happens Europe since 2009 has had just two school shootings while in the U.S. we have had 288 and counting. Britain has had no school shootings since the big one in the 1980’s with the corresponding gun laws that followed. Even the mentally challenged would ask the question “what the hell are they doing right that we are not?. The answer is obvious, Gun Laws because they work. No law or laws are perfect but when we live in a society were life is considered cheap and the society refuses to protect our most important people i.e. our children we as a society have failed everyone. And we are a society that is in decline and headed for self destruction.

      Failure to issue mental health check cards to prospective gun buyers, failure to vet all gun sales, failure to fund mental health care, failure to pass safe storage laws, failure to adequately fund armed guards in all schools not just affluent ones, are just basic first steps that even a mentally challenged person could understand and have proven effective and have been implemented by civilized countries who value human life especially the lives of their children. The U.S. Government has not only become a National Disgrace but an International Embarrassment among civilized industrial countries. No laws are effective 100 per cent of the time but to do nothing is insanity beyond all rational thought and understanding.

      1. avatar jwm says:

        Bullshit artist. Bought and paid for.

      2. avatar J Gibbons says:

        School shootings may be minimal in most of Europe, but this case is not about school shootings. The US doesn’t even lead the world in mass killer events. Vlad is using a bait and switch argument.

      3. avatar Mad says:

        Vlad I see more substance in an empty peanut she’ll I guess you like being an idiot

      4. avatar frank speak says:

        but then there’s that 2nd amendment…something that doesn’t exist elsewhere…

      5. avatar Someone says:

        It’s your gun grabbing side that opposes the very idea of protecting the most important people (our kids) the same way politicians, rich and famous are protected. By armed people, right there, right now. It’s the only way that works. Double super plus gun free school zoned protect the attacker.

        The oh-so-sophisticated Europe had two world wars in last hundred years and governments that killed millions upon millions of their own disarmed citizens. Lastly we hear that since gun control is such a hit there, murderers use also other tools. In France 80 people got killed by one murderer with a truck. But if they were shot instead, they would be much more dead, right?

      6. avatar Silander North says:

        US becoming safer compared to Europe in both fatalities and frequency of mass public shootings: US now ranks 11th in fatalities and 12th in frequency


        Between January 2009 and December 2015, there are 11 European countries with a higher frequency of these mass public shootings than the US, and 10 European countries with a higher rate of deaths from these attacks.

        Indeed, over that same period of time, the European Union (EU) suffered 303 deaths from mass public shootings, while the US had 199.
        — End quote —

  8. avatar Texican says:

    It’s really time to arm everyone and let regular folks sort out the bad guys. The police can arrive later and fill out reports.

    1. avatar frank speak says:

      ask yourself if allowing people to arm themselves at their discretion would have provided a better outcome…if you agree that it probably would have…then the future course is obvious…

  9. avatar Dyspeptic Gunsmith says:

    Why can’t the cops take the same master keys that firefighters use?

    A Hallagan bar and a Denver tool. With those tools, I don’t give a rat’s rear end what sort of lock is on the door. Or you could have a shotgun with breaching rounds in your car’s truck. Bam, bam, bam. Hallagan in the hinge side, door is open.

    Want to go faster without making a lot of noise? Buy up one of the new Hurst extrication tools. Holy crap, do those things open a car or a commercial door like a can opener.

    Quit making excuses and perform, goddamn it. Every one of these case, all we have from law enforcement is another excuse. Radio systems, lack of information, card keys, blah, blah, blah.

    Oh, what’s that? Law enforcement can’t be everywhere? Then STFU about gun control and get behind laws that repeal “no gun” zones. One or the other. Either quit making excuses and show us what you highly trained boys in taci-kewl costumes can do, or get out of the way.

    1. avatar Paul says:

      I have to agree with you – except for the specific tools you name. I’m a construction and maintenance guy. To get into a building, I usually only need one tool. That tool will vary from building to building. Sometimes, I only need a medium sized single screwdriver. Sometimes, a larger screwdriver. Other times, a single larger prybar, similar to a screwdriver. Then, I’ve got my big prybar – it was actually distributed by Burke concrete forms company. And, I’ve always got my sledgehammer, but that’s hard work. Long story short – yes, it’s easy to get into almost all buildings. I guess these cops didn’t have any experience in construction, or in demolition. I probably should have mentioned my lock picks, but they wont’ be a lot of use with electronic locks.

      1. avatar Dyspeptic Gunsmith says:

        If firefighters are given the word “get in there NOW,” the doors are getting opened – even if there’s a bar across the inside. I’ve been on training gigs where two FF’s are given nothing but a Hallagan and Denver tool (a Denver tool is like a splitting maul with a hole sideways through the head), and a “mystery door” where we don’t know what the locking setup on the inside looks like and we have to figure that out. We’re still in that door in less than 90 seconds. Stuff is broken all to hell, but the door is open.

        The new “jaws” tools used for extrication of auto accident victims have many, many other uses. Give me a set of the new battery-powered “jaws” and I won’t even be breathing heavily when that door is ripped open.

        This isn’t rocket surgery – this is just an application of brute force and some brain power.

        Heck, some of the companies that make FF irons make tools specifically for LEO’s to do rapid entry. I was looking at a firefighter tool catalog recently where they were making a tool specifically for LEO’s to do rapid entry through commercial doors (get this) for active shooter situations.

        Card key my ass.

        1. avatar neiowa says:

          Go look at the Amkus ION. 2hp DeWalt motor. Uses DeWalt Flexvolt battery which is high wattage and widely available.

          The Hurst is an out dated POS weak sister/3rd rate tool that uses a proprietary $700 battery.

      2. avatar Knute(ken) says:

        I had to call the fire dept a few years back, when I lived in Billings. The upstairs neighbor had left a pan on high and then passed out, dead drunk. When the smoke got down to me, I looked through a window and saw the stove spewing smoke. The door was double deadbolted, so I just called 911. The firemen showed up in less than a minute, and they went through that solid core, exterior door in three moves. One put a Halligan on the hinge side, while another hit the bolt side with a battering ram. It did take two hits, but they were in in about six seconds.
        Maybe what we REALLY need is police officers with MORE than 83 IQ points.

        1. avatar neiowa says:

          You got a problem that needs shot (which “can’t” do for yourself) or arrested, call a cop.

          Anything else call the FD, They will show up with a cool BRT filled tools to solve any kind of problem, and bunch of guys happy to solve it. You don’t love the FD you’re weird. Cops/PD, not so much.

    2. avatar komradklaus says:

      Those firefighter keys are a security nightmare. Thr bitting for firefighter keys is often known common knowledge or can be deduced with physical access to a box easily.

    3. avatar James W Crawford says:

      Of course as standard Slefgematic will open most doors.

      I once improvised by using someone’s head rather than a sledgehammer to batter a door open. He lived.

  10. avatar MaddMaxx says:

    Your security is our number one concern… work safe, be safe..
    Your Government

  11. avatar Auxwood_Rebel says:

    Everyone knows if you want to enter a “secure” facility, you look for the two crappiest cars in the parking lot. One belongs the janitor and the other belongs to security. Both of those will have the keys and alarm codes. Neither will make enough to die for them.

    1. avatar Greg K says:

      That’s sadly true…I used it as criteria for my mechanic hires.

  12. avatar Sam I Am says:

    Preventing unauthorized access to computer systems is one thing, preventing access through electronic doors quite another.

    A person’s computer systems access can be deactivated withing seconds of notification of denied privilege. A discharged person (fired, transferred, resigned, retired) may be able to “borrow” some else’s access for a few moments, thus limiting system damage opportunities, but walking through key-card access doors in a line with authorized personnel is common, wide-spread, simple, effective.

    There is only one way to eliminate the threat of a discharged person making entry through key-car doors.

    And if you think about it, even that method can be bypassed.

    1. avatar Paul says:

      Today, Sam, you can lock out a (former) employee, at the very same keyboard, and on the same screen, where you disable his computer and network access. The computer controls it all. There is not even a need to switch between windows.

      1. avatar barnbwt says:

        This is a *municipal* system; I suspect you give them far too much credit. Right hand doesn’t know what left is doing, left hasn’t seen the sunlight in years, and the real user access process is a mangled web of workarounds for software that hasn’t been supported in over a decade.

        1. avatar Matt says:

          Trust me, these are not complicated or expensive systems these days. The setup where they run it one someone’s pc instead of a dedicated computer or server and the communication is likely slow or lacking but the software and hardware for badge access is not expensive.

  13. avatar Timothy Toroian says:

    An armed person could have stopped the carnage but I live in a secure building where there is a secure box on an outside wall with access keys for police and fire. Each department has keys that permit access to that box. That or first responders having keys/cards at the nearest station would be a good idea for any such building.

  14. avatar Ralph says:

    Ban electronic security doors. For the children.

  15. avatar FedUp says:

    Sort of what I envisioned when I first heard the phrase ‘put the school on lockdown’ after Columbine.
    Yes, let us lock the victims in with the killers so they cannot escape.

    If emergency workers can’t get in, does that make it a fire code violation?

  16. avatar Larry says:

    Retired FD Truck LT . Most buildings here have Knox boxes with necessary keys inside , each city has a specific key to open boxes , building owners must call us to,put their keys inside as only FD has key to, box and ours is kept on the rigs a safe .

    Others have given key cards to first in units ,these are kept on the load as well .

    Those that don’t want to do this, can, but they tend to have to replace doors from time to time .

    Any place with competent security has someone meet us with keys/codes, although Its not always a given at some places .

    We have what we call , target hazards , might be high value, or high risk , these we train on and visit when we can , making sure correct keys in place is a small part of that .

  17. avatar Hannibal says:

    Why are there electronic locks on a MUNICIPAL building that cops don’t have access to? I know my keycard has some sort of fancy thingamajig in it that unlocks any city building with electronic locks (except the fire department for reasons I cannot understand) for this exact reason.

    Shooting a glass door out takes time and gives up tactical advantage in a situation like this.

    1. avatar neiowa says:

      Because no one wants donut crumbs in the hosebed.

  18. avatar possum destroyer of arachnids says:

    Shoot the doors and kickem in.

  19. avatar James W Crawford says:

    This is why mass murderers should use shotguns rather than rifles. By carrying a large assortment of buckshot, slugs and breaching rounds, psychopaths will be able to open almost any door.

  20. avatar enuf says:

    Recalling an event in a county I once lived in. An employee is asked to work late on something important, no problem. But the employee’s ability to unlock doors is limited to her office only. To cut costs, after hours security is no longer on site, it is remote. She finds she cannot get out of her little corner of the building many floors up. Calls around, can’t find anyone to help.

    So, the employee calls 911 to report she is trapped in the building, it’s Friday evening and no one comes in until Monday. What to do? 911 sends the call to the fire department.

    FD shows up, they cannot get into the building at all, and they are supposed to have access by prior arrangement. All pre-planned, but none of their keys work. An FD Lt calls an FD Captain who calls the Fire Marshall at home. They all agree, cut those doors open.

    The FD cut thru the exterior doors and a bunch of locked fire doors to reach the employee who was asked to work late. County tried to fire her but she won in court. The building and fire codes are clear, a public building and FD has pre-planned means to access rapidly which some high ranking bureaucrat decided to defeat. That and whoever had the employee work late neglected to arrange a means to leave the building.

    Whoever that person was, was never punished.

  21. avatar Cea says:

    Lockbox on outside of building for fire/police. Access card in lockbox…

  22. avatar Manse Jolly says:

    I want to see the toxicology report on the dead shooter.

    Any steroid use, maybe in combination with other substances that make one paranoid?

  23. avatar joefoam says:

    Here in AZ, every gated community has a device that allows first responders access into secured areas. I believe its called a Tomar. Why can’t these buildings be equipped that way?

  24. avatar Ralph3 says:

    Usually a 12G Pump in the car. It wouldve done wonders on the Door!

    Whinny lil Rookies! GET R DONE!!

  25. avatar Nickel Plated says:

    They seem to have no problem getting through your house door when they really want to. It’s called a running start and a swift application of the boot.

    “Shaffer said police are trained to break into buildings and often have the tools to do so”

    Clearly not. Do they not know how to throw a rock through a window?

  26. avatar Vlad Tepes says:


    Think about this for a minute. The Far Right Scream that if we had reached the gun saturation point the Virginia mass shooting would not have been as bad. Baloney it took 12 heavily armed Storm Troopers eager for the kill who are trained not to hesitate to shoot and loaded up with a ton of ammo while wearing bullet proof vests to take out one maniac. Now what would one normal person who probably had not shot his weapon in over a year and loaded up with only 1 magazine have accomplished except get himself killed very quickly especially if the nut case was wearing body armor as many of them do.

    The Far Right did not invent Walter Mitty but they should have as they are Walter Mitty incarnated every day and we normal people laugh as hard today as we did when we read the original story so many years ago.

    1. avatar Nickel Plated says:

      That one normal person would actually be there when it happens. Unlike the cops that show up after the bodies already start piling up.
      The cops show up in uniform and with blaring sirens. The shooter knows where they are, who they are, and where to go to avoid them for a while longer.
      The regular guy can step around the corner while the shooter has his attention on someone else and put one in the back of his head.

      Are you suggesting that they would be better off without weapons in such a scenario? Would books and printer trays work better?

      If there was an active shooter in your building right now and you knew one of your friends or coworkers keeps a gun in the desk, are you telling me you would not grab it and instead choose to just cower defenseless behind the desk? Would your chances of survival be higher if you don’t have the option of shooting back?

      That is the major thing I do not understand about gun control. I understand why the politicians want normal people disarmed. I don’t get why those normal people would willingly disarm themselves. It’s illogical to me. It’s like a lion willingly declawing itself. Where is your sense of survival and self-preservation?

      I have had people ask me “Why do you carry a gun?” my answer is always “Why not?” I get alot of answers about why THEY don’t want me to have a gun. I have yet to hear a good reason why I personally would choose to not have a gun. I don’t look forward to the possibility of shooting someone. But I sure as hell want to have that option if the need arises. More options is always better.
      There’s no downsides to being armed, there’s ALOT of downsides to being disarmed. Some of them quite lethal.

      1. avatar Nickel Plated says:

        In short, when you’re in a falling airplane, would you rather be the guy with the parachute or the guy without one?

    2. avatar Mad says:

      Remain calm steady aim double tap his head

    3. avatar Mad says:

      Vlad stay cool shoot him dead.one two rounds to his face.no spray and pray

    4. avatar frank speak says:

      total BS…if someone is trying to kill me…but first he has to find me and get to me…even a tiny pistol gives you an edge…witness what happened in the Kenyan mall shootings..those guys were a trained hit team with AK’s…yet the people with personal firearms survived…

    5. avatar adverse6 says:

      My god, you’re right!! Here take my two firearms. Happy now?

    6. avatar Someone says:

      Are you really trying to say that because it took cops so long to find and kill the murderer, his victims were better off disarmed? And you call yourself normal?

    7. avatar Silander North says:

      There are actually several instances of mass killings being halted by armed citizens. If you read through these stories, some common threads emerge:
      * The armed citizen was able to recognize and confront only the killer and not other innocent persons.
      * The armed citizen stopped the killer from killing any more people.
      * No innocent person was shot or killed by the armed citizen.
      * Multiple armed citizens did not fire upon each other and upon innocent bystanders.
      * When police arrived, they were able to distinguish between the killer and the armed citizen.

      None of the gun control fantasies about killers and armed citizens have actually taken place. Yet, gun control activists keep making up these fantasies.

      Here is just one example where armed citizens took down a criminal without anyone else getting hurt:

      Armed Citizen Puts Down Bad Guy In Washington State


      Armed Citizens Are Successful 94% Of The Time At Active Shooter Events [FBI]


      Of the 283 total Active Shooter events in an 18 year period, armed citizens were present at 33 of them. Of these 33 incidents, the Armed Citizen was successful in stopping the Active Shooter 75.8% of the time and successful in reducing the lives lost an additional 18.2% of the time.
      — End quote —

  27. avatar strych9 says:

    It seems to me that this is way over thought.

    Most (not all) electronic security systems like this that I have dealt with, speaking only of those because there are others and I don’t pretend to know this place’s set up, all the doors unlock if you pull a fire alarm.

    That seems to me to be the easiest way to deal with this problem. Sure, it has holes in it that can be exploited, but EVERY system has that. No security system is perfect. If this particular incident is deemed to be evidence of slowed response being a serious issue, then that’s probably the most efficient way to deal with that problem.

  28. avatar Anymouse says:

    To quote some questionable German: “scheiss den Fenster” – shoot the windows. If they’re willing to contemplate explosives, the gun at their side or on their sling will do the job. They know someone is shooting defenseless, innocent civilians. It’s worth risking the shot.

    1. avatar frank speak says:

      excuses…excuses…meanwhile people are dieing….

    2. avatar Someone says:

      Your quote actually says “Shit the window”
      “To shoot” is “schiessen” in German.

      1. avatar Broke_It says:

        Your quote actually says “Shit the window”

        I like his quote better.

  29. avatar Anon says:

    “Shaffer of the FBI’s elite hostage rescue team”. If ever there is an oxymoron statement. They killed a unarmed woman holding a baby at Ruby Ridge and probably fired the first shot at Waco, thus the exterior is door with bullet holes disappeared and they demolished the site real quick.

  30. avatar Chip in Florida says:

    “…There’s no option that’s perfect,” he said. “You’ve got to sort of tailor it the building and the situation.”

    I disagree. There is an option that’s pretty close to perfect and that is to allow citizens to be armed. Remove the Free-Fire…. I mean Gun-Free-Zone bulldada that always turns into some kind of magnet for the whackjobs.

    It only costs whatever it costs to remove the signs and then it’s pretty much free from that point on.

  31. avatar Montesa_VR says:


    I would still like to know the details on his suppressor, his “large capacity magazines” and exactly why other employees were afraid to go to work that day:

  32. avatar adverse6 says:

    Locked firearm free zone, nothing can go wrong.

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