September 15, in-conjunction with the Lone Tree Police, Park Meadows Security and Macy’s Loss Prevention, O.M.E.G.A. staged a training exercise in Park Meadows Mall. The exercise consisted of four scenarios testing reaction to various threats in the mall.
The first scenario consisted of an active shooter attacking the mall security offices after shooting up the Food Court. I was the active shooter and was armed with a blue replica M4. The situation started on the walkway by the Food Court. It was hard to pick out targets from the controllers at first, but then the Smokey Bear hat gave a good identification marker. After tossing off a couple shots I hustled into the food court and found many victims to shoot at. Those who made noises got shot again. I experienced no opposition and was able to penetrate the inner corridors of the mall. Navigating the maze of hallways delayed me just long enough that I heard the mall office door being locked as I approached. I squeezed off a lot of bullets through the walls, but was unable to see any results. The next set of offices were deserted. I then went around looking for security to mix it up with. After a short shoot out I was pinned into a very unenviable situation. Despite my goading, I could not get security to expose themselves to danger and I was unable to escape.
The second scenario was a hostage situation. Security was not delayed by the distractions I left behind. They quickly bypassed the unimportant stuff and fixed on my position. Despite my best bombardment of insults, security was not breached and the situation was neutralized.
The third scenario featured an active shooter engaging a search team. After creating a disturbance in front of Macy’s, I found myself in a back hallway once again. I thought the police might be entering from one of two locations, but I was wrong. They came from above, but fortunately my position was covered and they never saw what hit them until after two had fallen.
The fourth scenario consisted of some crazy fellow with a weird accent. He blew away a bunch of us with a satchel charge hidden in a waste bin. Security quickly located and despite not being armed, moved in on him. Unfortunately the bomber had a dead man’s switch and there were several more casualties then were necessary.
There was a number of lessons learned in this exercise:
• if you don’t take the situation seriously enough, you could easily be hurt
• tactics and plans have been developed for a reason
• no matter your best effort, there will be something unexpected
• if the situation is contained there is no reason to endanger yourself
I enjoyed playing the bad guy very much and sincerely hope that the simulation helps those who participated be better prepared for real emergencies.