How to End Active Shooting with a Pickup Truck
Master Sgt. David Royer stopped an active shooter on a bridge in Leavenworth. With his pickup truck.
Royer, who is assigned to the 705th Military Police Battalion of the 15th Military Police Brigade at Fort Leavenworth, said he witnessed a man firing shots on the bridge. Royer said he took the only action he felt he could take and accelerated his truck into the shooter, who ended up becoming pinned under the vehicle.
This is another real-life example of using your vehicle as either an escape capsule or as a weapon to defend yourself. In this case Royer used his 5000-pound Chevy Silverado to drive over a man who pulled out an AR-15 from his car and started to indiscriminately shoot people on a bridge.
This case is somewhat unusual for two reasons:
An individual, in this case a Master Sargent assigned to a Military Police battalion, used his training and his wits to recognize the situation, chart a course of action, and then act decisively to end the shooting.
The assailant used an AR-15 which is unusual despite the popularity of the carbine in the U.S. I'm imagining Royer had no trouble recognizing the outline of the long gun and the sounds of the rounds from his Army training.
Royer was talking to his fiancee Haley Siela on the phone while on the bridge
“I heard eight or nine gunshots,” Siela said. “I was so scared, because I didn’t know how this was going to turn out.”
The shooter, a 37-year-old Platte County man started shooting an AR15. Bullets from his gun hit three cars, and shot another active service member in one of them.
Siela got off the phone with Royer and dialed 911, and Royer said he put his training to use.
“I accelerated my truck as quickly as possible and struck the active shooter and pinned him under my truck,” Royer said.
We talk more about using your car as an escape vehicle in the post Self-Defense Lessons from the L.A. Riots.
Related: Stopping Active Shooters by the Numbers
Below is a highly-graphic visual of how to stop a criminal with a car. It's a dashcam video of an Arizona police officer running over a man who was walking down the street randomly shooting.
What's not referred to in this particular video is that the responding officer in the vehicle shown hitting the suspect believed the situation was growing increasingly dangerous because of the possibility of crossfire with the unit responding at the end of the street.
The point we want to keep in mind is the conscious use of all the tools we have at our disposal for self-defense. And our personal or work vehicle affords us protection when we stay safely locked inside. And it gives us an increase in our strength and speed we could never possess if we were dismounted.
To see the effectiveness of using vehicles in this manner, we can flip it on its opposite side and look at terrorist attacks that have been carried out by deliberately ramming vehicles into people.
Bottom line: use what you have available to defend yourself. Do whatever it takes to come home safely tonight to your family.