Fashion Mall Shooting Incident in Murray, UT

A summery of my take on the Fashion Place Mall shooting incident and what should a trained concealed carrier do if one were near or around where a similar incident.
I prefer to wait 24 to 48 hours before saying anything and making any comments after a larger scale shooting incident. This morning, more information is out, which agrees with my theory based on the initial information I received from one of my local news outlet, KSL LIVE: Continuing coverage on the shooting at Fashion Place Mall in Murray on Sunday afternoon.

KSL news article on the afternoon of the shooting Police hunting for 3 suspects after shooting sparks ‘panic’ at Fashion Place mall in Utah

Sunday around 3:30 pm local time, I was having brunch at a restaurant in South Jordan which is about 15-20 minutes drive from where I was at to the mall. While eating, I saw my local news feeds live stream on FB that a “shooting” at the Fashion Place Mall in Murray. It resulted in two people being injured. Wow it’s a shooting, the media make it look big, like always. Then an hour later, I saw the video along with photos of people being escorted in a line with their hands up (typical escorted evacuate setup we seen in many school and other shootings that occurred indoors)  out of the mall. Local LEO and SWAT members were all around with their AR-15 carbines. Local media reported that there were three suspects (shooters?) that fled the area and are at “large.”

Just based on this initial information at that time on Sunday, I knew this wasn’t a random mass shooting where the shooter will try to shoot as many people as possible and quickly as possible before the shooter takes his life or is halted by another armed human. In Utah, “gun violence” and random mass shooting is almost unheard due to our very pro Second Amendment laws we have, a lot Uthans are packing. Criminals will think twice.
Why this was definitely not a random mass shooting?

1) How come there were only two people that got shot?

2) Those two people that were shot (based on the video that evening) were shot outside at the transition point, which is the southeastern entrance of the mall

3) A group of shots were heard and no more

4) Great, no one else besides the two where shot and no casualties

5) Three people appear to be involve based on initial reporting and the damage appears to be small

I said to myself, this shooting could be related to:

1) A security guard or police officer shot an armed attacker

2) An armed robbery where a suspect shot the victim and fled.

3) A concealed carrier had to use his/her carry pistol to stop the attacker(s)

4) Maybe the attacker(s) are gang related, which resulted in number 1 and 3

All Sunday afternoon, evening, night and in to Monday, authorities were searching for the suspects. The FBook comments and KSL news stated that it was probably gang related. The evil bias CNN, MSNBC and WAPO turned their heads the other way around on this local story since didn’t fit there agenda. No body counts, not enough blood, can’t get exicted and repeat this story all day and for days follow by framing all good law abiding gun owners. My favorite meme quote to this…
This morning the Salt Lake Tribune confirmed that it was gang related 🙄 . Two people arrested in connection to this shooting, full story and details… ‘There’s a shooter. Get out of there’: Shoppers and mall workers recount gang-related attack at Fashion Place; two suspects arrested

In The Armed Trained Citizen Shoes 

First things first, those two people were shot at a transition point. There were two rival gang members, one group was inside the mall and the other were probably outside at the entrance area. Those two people were caught in the action. Rule number one, keep your head out of your ass! What would you do if you were those two people? You might have a second or two to react.
If you can avoid large gathering areas and crowds such as malls, then take that option. It doesn’t mean you have to stay home all the time if you have the skills and methods to minimize your chances of being shot and kill, and how to react if you find yourself in such situation.
Be aware of your surroundings constantly and learn to look for people that don’t fit in, managing unknown contacts (phase taken from Craig Douglas) is a skill set one should posses.
Get some basic trauma first aid training. Carry a tourniquet, my favorite is the CAT tourniquet.
Notice these people in the video below who have a good heart, especially the man who tries to stop one of the victim’s bleeding.


He has no basic trauma first aid skills and lacks a good tourniquet on his persons. Luckily, the red shirt girl’s leg wound doesn’t appear to be an arterial bleeding (femoral artery in particular) based on the blood lost in this video above, which means his failed improvised tourniquet (the belt) wasn’t even needed. He should just apply pressure on the bullet hole wound (if there is no pass through) would be the correct. If her femoral was severed, she would have already bleed out by the time the paramedic arrived.

Kudus to the surgeon director at the local hospital that these two victims were transported to for making the following statement:

“We recommend the placement of tourniquets only when there’s life-threatening bleeding that can’t be stopped by direct pressure,” Stevens said. And, reluctantly, he said that was not the case on Sunday.

“Well, probably these were placed when they didn’t need to be placed,” he said. “Neither patient, as they came to the hospital, was experiencing life-threatening bleeding. … I don’t think either of the injured was hurt by placing tourniquets, but they probably weren’t necessary in this situation.”

Still, he said he’s glad people were willing to try to help. The medical center urged Utahns to take “Stop the Bleed” training, saying that uncontrolled bleeding is the number one cause of death after mass casualty events. Class providers say they have seen surges in people interested in the classes after mass shootings.

Yes, people definitely should get some hands-on in learning how to stop the bleeding, besides knowing how to make holes in bad guys. Greg Ellifritz from Active Response Training does offer an excellent medical first aid course called, “Tactical First Aid and System Collapse Medicine” which I’ve taken a few years ago.
I want to point out what “not to do” in an active shooting incident that takes place in a crowded place. Quoting from the SLTribune news article…

“Marshall VanHook, who has worked for the Army for nine years, heard the gunshots, he ran toward them.”

This is something you do no want to do, you have no idea if there is a jihadist who is just pumping rounds with his AK-47, how many shooters or what the nature of the shooting. Was VanHook armed and ready for a gun fight of his life? You don’t want to be on the causality victims list at the end of the day, and what good does it do when you are injured or dead? Take advantage of being a civilian, you have no duty to run towards an active crime scene if you are already safely away from it. You’re not a cop.

Be in the moment mind state, meaning accept what is happening is really happening, pause for a second, don’t panic, think of the skills you learned, can you determined where the gun shots are coming from? What is the safest and quickest path to get yourself and your love ones out of danger? Take notice of exits, what are covers and concealment in your vicinity. You might have to smash the glass window creating your own exit. If you are close to the shooter(s), have visual and there is no escape but to go through their line of sight, then you might have to draw and shoot. Can you take that 25 yard head shot? If you have to shoot the attacker and come out alive, as soon as the scene is safe, PLEASE HOLSTER UP! Last thing you want is the cops finding you with the gun in your hand and a dead body or two near you. Many under cover cops and some good samaritan had been shot and kill by first responding law enforcement this way.

Last words

If you have a concealed carry permit, always carry where you legally can. You don’t pick when and where shit goes down, the wolves do their picking, you just have to be ready. Take at least one good defensive firearms course a year and practice what you learned once or twice a month at minimal. Dry fire few times a week. Learn how to use a tourniquet and blood clotting gauze. Evil is everywhere, despite some states or cities that are safer than others. Don’t forget to get involve in preserving your rights to defend yourself.

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