ALIVE Podcast Episode 003 | Stoneman Douglas High School Shooter | A.L.I.V.E.
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ALIVE Podcast Episode 003 | Stoneman Douglas High School Shooter

ALIVE Podcast Episode 003 | Stoneman Douglas High School Shooter

Episode 003 – Stoneman High School Shooter

Stoneman High School Active Shooter

PARKLAND, FL – FEBRUARY 14: People are brought out of the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School after a shooting at the school that killed and injured multiple people on February 14, 2018 in Parkland, Florida. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

Intro: Stoneman High School Shooter

Welcome to the Alive Active Shooter Survival Training Program where the experts break down active shooter incidents to discuss and assess each event to help you stay alive. This is your host Security Expert and Creator of the Alive Active Shooter Survival Training Program. Michael Julian.


Michael Julian:  

Hey everybody, welcome to the Alive Active Shooter Survival Training Program Podcast. A little bit different today. We are at the GSX that’s Global Security Exchange Conference in Chicago, Illinois. And we had all kinds of technical difficulties so I’m actually talking to you through my phone.  Stoneman High School Shooter


That’s why it sounds like I’m on phone. But I’m using the camera on my…. my Surface Pro to video. So I’ll just give you a little picture of what we got going on here. There are thousands and thousands and thousands of people here… right now… all security injury industry professionals. And it’s it’s an amazing show… It’s the biggest show of the year internationally when it comes down to security. So it’s really cool…. A lot of my friends and associates are here. And I will tell you this… active shooter is a gigantic part of this conference. I have this damn, really cool planner here that we set up all of the different… you know, things sessions and stuff we want to go see. And so I went through all the sessions and there’s probably 9 or 10 breakout sessions over three… Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday… over four days just on active shooter. I attended two yesterday and I’m going to do two or three more today. Really, really good learning opportunities. 


There is one guy that I went to yesterday, he did a basically lessons learned on the Stoneman Douglas high school shooting in Florida last year, and by a guy named Michael Verdun met the guy afterwards really cool guy, former Secret Service now a security consultant and he went over all the Do Not the do’s and don’ts, but all the things that we learned about what the shooter did leading up to it…. after… the aftermath, the lessons learned which there were a lot of lessons learned and a lot of mistakes made anywhere from the dispatcher that took the initial call to the writing law enforcement, the Broward County Sheriff’s Department failed miserably. The school resource officer didn’t engage like he should have. So anyway, the good… you know, these are horrible situations. 


But what we will take from them is we will learn how to be better moving forward and we learned a lot… a lot of lessons about that. A real quick little breakdown, I learned a lot of information about it. So a 19 year old former student of Marjorie Stoneman High School active shooter puts on his ROTC shirt…. So he fits in… He looks like you know a student. He takes an Uber with a gun bag with patches for extra magazines. It was an AR 15 style rifle…. patches for extra magazines, gets in an Uber and goes there now. In the commission report after the incident, they apparently either didn’t… they didn’t either interview the Uber driver or they didn’t put it in the report. But I’d be really curious to know what that Uber driver was thinking what he picked a kid up with a rifle and bunch of extra magazines attached. 


Anyway, so he takes an Uber he gets out. It’s at two by 220 in the afternoon, and there was the unmanned dates because it was about time for everyone to get out. So there was no security at the gates even though they had multiple school employees that acted as like safety security monitors and then once resource officer. He got out he knew which gate to go through, you know which door to go through. He got went in and he met… went face to face with another kid who he happened to know in the stairwell. The kid said, “Hey, what’s going on?” to him… he said, “You need to leave something really bad is about to happen.” So the kid looked at him turn around and ran out. Stoneman High School Shooter


That’s when the shooter we won’t say his name, the shooter took the rifle out of the bag and went into the hall and started shooting. Some other interesting things we found out, the shooter never actually entered any classrooms… that classrooms he did fire into and killed… killed some people. He shot through the window, the you know, the little small window on the door apparently that’s how he had actually shot and killed. Now, the important lesson there is you have got to get what they call a hard corner. You need to get out of sight of the shooter. So if all they can do is see through that window, stand over to the corner so you don’t see that window or you can’t see anybody into that window. So even if they know that somebody is in there and they don’t enter, they’re going to they don’t see anybody right away, they might go down to the next… the next classroom or whatever.


I found out yesterday, more clarity going over the commission report, whole incident. I asked it seven… excuse me seven and a half minutes approximately… he killed 17 and wounded 17 to 14 students and three teachers. He, the high school active shooter, shot through the windows on the second floor out into the parking lot area. They had tornado windows. So if the bullets fragmented, they did get through but they fragmented before they you know, as they pass through, so they would have… had less velocity. 


Again, seven and a half minutes and then as many people know, he threw the stuff down and he got in with a group of kids that were exiting and got out appearing be just another student. At that point he broke away from the group and then took off and walked to a nearby McDonald’s where he was caught about an hour later by… I can’t remember right now, there was a neighboring law enforcement department, a police department, Coral Springs, Coral Springs PD. Now in the commission report where they talked about all of the problems and mistakes that were made, and there were several of them. Coral Springs PD was actually praised because they had followed the training. They did everything right. They were the first ones. I’m not mistaken. Stoneman High School Shooter


They were the first ones to enter the building. Because when Broward County got there, they actually set up a perimeter and began containment, they did not immediately address the threat, which we’ve all know we all know now is absolutely essential. I don’t know if you can see. So here’s the gun bag. That kid was had with him, which is amazing that he was able to… to get on an Uber and there was three stories to the building three stories to the building. And I believe it was on the first and second story that he actually was able to… to kill people. Here’s the windows with the bullet holes there. And, and then he literally he just ran away. Now here’s another problem you can see him running away after the incident when law enforcement arrived there watching video believing it was real time and it had been rewound. And for some reason that was not communicated to the law enforcement. 


So law enforcement is actually looking at this thing, thinking it’s real time believing that he’s still on the property. They did not know that they all clear could be given or that they could stop looking for the guy because they couldn’t they would have seen him running down the… down the sidewalk like we just saw there. So that cause some confusion. There was a lot of mistakes. And you know, I don’t I’m not going to, I don’t want to Monday morning quarterback, this is a very intense situation. And, you know, a lot of stress, a lot of pressure, a lot of miscommunication went on. But we definitely learned that there is some breakdowns and failures. And it’s incident that… that we will hopefully avoid law enforcement and civilians response that we will hopefully avoid in the future.


Lawrence Borgens:  

Michael, in all of that, was there any indication about either the mindset of the attacker that said what kind of like what set them off? Or did they talk about some of the mindset of the people that survived? Or maybe some of the people that were injured? I know mine… 


Michael Julian: 

That’s a great question Lawrence.  Stoneman High School Shooter


Lawrence Borgens:  

Our training and a big part of what we stress with alive and so that’s what’s driving that question is find out more about the mindset.


Michael Julian:  

Absolutely. If you can… if you can recognize the warning signs and stop the threat before it’s a threat, that’s the best way to just survive an active insanely. So the kid that had a lot of issues, he, I believe was, had been an orphan, he was adopted. He had a brother and his mother had died then his father had died more recently. And you know, there was some mental illness he had been in trouble multiple times, to the times apparently involved either threats or violence or something like that. So, the kid had definitely had… had… had been troubled, he had some issues…. broken family life, and he just, you know, no cope, apparently not good coping skills because he decided to take it out in the in the very worst way. Stoneman High School Shooter


That’s a good question. So that was a really good presentation, and then the The chief of police of Aurora Illinois, did one on the Aurora Shooting and unfortunately I was actually meeting with the the presenter Michael Bearden from the last one. So I ended up late to the to the Aurora… the Aurora presentation but man what a freck’n Dynamo that gal is this little five foot nothing chief of police is she is a quite a gal. She had that that audience riveted and she’s talking about, you know, the response. 


And one thing I really enjoyed what was that she talked about and kind of as the whole incident the after aftermath of it. She talked about how her officers were affected several officers were shot, and they didn’t know if they were going to survive, but it was such an intense response. And it was really neat to see the pictures and how she spoke about the… the psychological effects of dealing with that shooting afterwards and she said, “Hey, you know, a lot of these people at the school…..”, what was it? I can’t remember the school. Anyway, the facility those employees took several days off to recover. She said my guys were expected to go right back to work that day after this thing. Stoneman High School Shooter


So they they suffered a lot of psychological stuff. And so anyway, it was it was pretty neat. And then of course, there’s several, several more sec, let me give you a little, a little flavor this year. What GSX is going to have so locked down when seconds count, of course you’re going to talk about lockdown in schools. The Illinois School and Campus Safety Program a winning model… So we’re going to talk about what they believe is working for active shooters in schools which act and assailants survival plans basketball, we’re going to break them down a 360 degree approach to active shooter training… reducing risk in K-12 schools. armed security officers prevent active assailant incidences. Behavioral threat detection… That’s tomorrow or Wednesday… Yeah. Protecting places of worship… How can civilians react to and survive an active shooter event? Free attack indicators… Identify assailants before the first gun shot…. Gap between school violence and security solutions what’s missing… 


So, I mean, this is very… very active shooters centric… because it’s such a hot topic. And, you know, they had originally asked me if I wanted to present this was probably eight, nine months ago, and I was too stupid that I said… well, do you guys pay my you know, I’m used to getting paid for this. I’m like, did did you are you going to pay for my flight or anything they got no, we don’t do that. You got to take care of that. I’m like, I’m gonna pass. And then I realized how stupid that was. 


And I probably should have taken it. So next next year, I’ll probably present here. You know, one thing I wanted to talking about you is I speaking with a buddy of mine who’s a regional security director for a multinational… it well a global billion dollar company and I’m not going to say the name. But he had actually wanted… he had taken the Alive Program to his CSO and CEO to try and sell them or tell them listen, this is a really great program. I’ve seen it several times I read the book. This is something that we should incorporate it into our safety culture. And the response from them was they wanted to create their own and they wanted to dial down the violent reaction portion of it. And they want to call it run, hide, survive. Because now… now understand something this company, they don’t serve me in any of their hundreds of cafeterias around the world.  Stoneman High School Shooter


In their corporate executives, if they go out and they buy a steak won’t reimburse them on their expense account if it’s me if they eat me so they’re they’re literally trying to their their agenda was super liberal, you know saving the world…. hold hands… whom buy a… everything’s going to be fine you know Lego Movie… everything is awesome mentality. There’s trying to push it on people so much they won’t even… even if you as a corporate executive and valued employee if you want to eat need a dinner while you’re schmoozing clients. That’s fine… we’re just not going to cover it. 


But if you want to eat tofu, we got you. So, so this mentality that they’re pushing on everybody includes… well, we think… we think violence is bad. So we’re just not gonna… we’re not gonna talk about it. We’re not gonna deal with it. We’re certainly not gonna teach you how to react to it. You can run or you can hide but we don’t want to talk about fighting. Listen, this is ridiculous. Okay. I don’t… I won’t get political… I will just say anybody that feels this way that thinks that some things this way is an effing idiot. Stoneman High School Shooter


Because an active shooter is not going to care about what your culture of violence or non-violence is, in fact, they would love nothing more than to walk in and be unopposed by somebody that’s going to want to try and take them out. Because we don’t do that. Because we’re, you know, sweet and wonderful and, you know, gentle and violence is bad. So literally, that is, it’s asinine. And I’ve talked to corporate potential clients, before HR service managers, when they when they inquired about the program, and they said, “Hey, you know, we want to know more about it.” And I started to talk about it. And I tell them about my very raw in your face approach to the fact that active shooters are bad, and they’re going to want to try and hurt you. And so you got to counter them with violence, extreme violence, a full commitment to killing it. That’s what it takes. And they say, “Oh, yeah, Our culture doesn’t support that, well, that’s probably not going to work for us.”


Lawrence Borgens:  

You know…


Michael Julian:  

And I tell you right now.


Lawrence Borgens:  

that’s just an example of somebody who’s more committed to the way they look, as opposed to actually saving lives. And that’s…. that’s a shame. 


Michael Julian:  

That’s right… That’s right. So Ben, I’d be curious to know from a civilian non-security perspective… What your thoughts are on that? And I know you’re not, you’re not hard to conservative, you’re not hard. I mean, you’re kind of middle of the road as far as I, our discussions. What are your thoughts on that?  Stoneman High School Shooter


Ben Gothard:  

Well, honestly, when it comes to my beliefs there, if somebody is going to try to kill me or kill my family, or try to bring violence to me, if they’re the aggressor, then I mean, I’ve lost a lot of respect for them. And I’m going to kill I mean, I’m going to kill them. If it comes to that, like, I’m not just gonna let myself die, because I’m too afraid to take action and to protect myself… because I’m afraid of some backlash on social media or being called… you know, a caveman or a brute or anything that… you know what, if you want to call me that… that’s fine, because I’ll be alive to hear it. I will have survived that encounter. And that will be the least of my problems. So family… family always comes first for me. And if somebody is going to try to bring violence to my family… I’m going to fucking kill them. And I’m gonna… I’m gonna do it without hesitation. And I’m not going to feel bad. And I mean, I will know that I’m 100% justified in self. 


Lawrence Borgens:  



Michael Julian:  

Yeah, a brutal advice… all right… that’s good. Well, I I respect and appreciate your perspective. You know, I don’t… I just don’t understand this mentality and I’m telling you, it is so counterproductive to any kind of survival mentality. And you know… I mean, it’s just it’s like…. somebody said something the other day that I thought was awesome. They were talking about resentment and revenge and all this other stuff. And they said, it’s like me drinking poison and expecting you to die. It’s these people believed that if they just don’t think about violence, and they don’t teach it, and they don’t… they don’t allow it into their culture, it won’t happen. That’s not the reality of life in the world.  Stoneman High School Shooter


And for any, I’m gonna say it because I don’t care. They’re not gonna hire me and boys, so I don’t care if like this a month. If you are an HR Risk Manager or security professional, and you believe that by denying the fact that violence exists in your culture or if you don’t want to talk about it or you don’t even want to use words like fight in your attitude or survival program, then you’re an idiot. You are not living in a real world and you are gonna get your people killed. And you know, I even go as far as saying I would liken that to these these trainers that they start an active shooter training in 20 minutes then they have somebody walk in with a fake gun and start shooting blanks and scare the hell out everybody. Or the superintendent of the school in Central California that had the janitor walk through this school with a mask on and a fake gun that scared the hell out of kids. 


Your… your traumatizing people you’re, you’re… you’re… you’re teaching them to be traumatized. Your… trial by fire is not the right way to do it in this situation. You teach somebody how to catch a baseball before you throw one at their face. Getting that not on the head by getting into baseball bouncing off their forehead is not gonna teach them a lesson. There, as soon as you go like this the next time they’re going to go like this. So there are two extremes. They’re both equally ignorance. And I’m just gonna, you know, be real blunt about it. I think you’re absolutely fucking irresponsible, and you are a detriment to your job. If you are the type of security HR Risk Manager that just believes that denying that violence and bad things happening exists, because they’re going to happen and nobody there is going to be ready for it.  Stoneman High School Shooter


Lawrence Borgens:  

You know, Michael, let me step in for a second. I just want to say that. I’m really glad to hear that we’re… here we are circling about talking about mindset again. And I think that when you look at a lot of the active shooter, survival programs, mindset is one of the big missing, and that’s one of the things I love about alive is we really touch on that. And I want to kind of elaborate on that a little bit. Some people have a religious connotation around… you know, violence and hurting people, and even killing people. And I want to point out that I know that the popular translation in the Bible in the 10 commandments, one of them is, Thou shalt not kill. But if you look at the original words and the original definition of those words, it actually says, “Thou Shal Not Murder” and..


Michael Julian:  

Right. Unjustly kill.


Unknown Speaker:  

Exactly, it’s Thou Shal Not Murder. So there are times in the Bible when there are… there is righteous violence for good reason and good cause and there is evil people… you know this and I know this and a lot of people listening that are security professionals know that they’re evil people in the world, and that you can’t reason with them. You… I mean it’s kind of like that conversation from that… the Terminator where you know, he’s just not going to stop ’til you… ’til he kills you, or ’til you stop him, you got reason with them… you can’t… you know… discuss it… it’s not a discussion…  we’re not going to have a conversation about this. It’s got to be stopped with with physically stopping them. Stoneman High School Shooter


And that might mean pile in know five people on top of them. It might be if you have a firearm shooting back, but I’m glad we’re having this discussion. And I want you know, anybody who’s out there that has that kind of belief that especially from a religious point of view… I challenge you to look that up and to look into that a little deeper and to see that it’s not about it’s… it’s not about violence or killing people, it’s about murdering people. So when there’s cause… when there’s reason it is okay to commit violence. And I know that there’s this popular saying also that they, you know, people say… oh, violence never solves anything. Well, that is not true. Violence solves so many things it puts it into I mean, the Nazis would have run over the rest of the world if we wouldn’t violently opposed them. And so that’s… that’s just one example in history of where violence absolutely solved something… absolutely stop something. And there’s many, many, big and small that are just along the same way.


Ben Gothard:  

Well, worth it’s worth talking about the difference between being the aggressor, and like defending yourself, right.


Michael Julian:  



Ben Gothard:  

Because, like… you know, as far as the religious thing goes, like, I’m Jewish, and, you know, it’s like, from at least my experiences, Judaism is not a very violent culture. We’re not a very violent people. And I know just personally like my first inclination is not to go to violence at all. And I’m not going to be the aggressor. But when somebody is being the aggressor, and they’re coming at you violently, like, there is no… you have no other option at that point. Either you die, or you survive through violence.  Stoneman High School Shooter


Michael Julian:  

Yeah… yeah… yeah…. Well, I think that kind of goes to reinforce how we all agree the the idiocy of this new millennial liberal thinking way of thinking is just, it’s just not realistic. And I guess if in you know, again, in the, in my book, 10 minutes to live, the first chapter is it’ll never happen to me. That’s the kind of denial that is this mindset. And that is, you’re not going to be prepared and preparation is the most important thing in this situation. Knowing what to do. So that when it happens, you don’t have to try and figure out what to do. But if you decide that you’re denying that violence or that you know, hostility or bad people exists, you’re not going to be ready. 


There’s no chance and possibly being ready for the situation. So, I agree with both you guys. So anyway, yeah, this… it this has been a great show. And I was actually going to try and get a couple of different guys on here. But because of my frickin technical difficulties and having to go through the phone, I don’t think I’ll be able to… to get any of my buddies. I’ve got buddies from the executive protection world that are all from all over the world that are here. Again, this is the GSX 2018… GSX Global Security Exchange Conference, biggest one of year anywhere in the world. And they used to do it in Vegas most of the time, but they must have decided that they wanted to have something closer out out east to make other people happy or something but Chicago’s definitely the right venue for it if they’re going to do out here.  Stoneman High School Shooter


It’s Pretty awesome this is this is probably the biggest Convention Center I’ve ever seen. I’ll give you guys another, another P. So that’s the exhibitor area. And then those floors up there, they go all the way up to five floors are all classrooms. And there are literally thousands and thousands of people here. And I mean, you know, in there, there’s shot detection. There’s bullet film for Windows, there’s every kind of Gizmo and gadget for you know, anything that has to do with active shooter safety and security is in that room right now. I don’t know how many frickin millions of square feet that exhibit hall is but I… it just opened this morning. So I will be spending the next probably three days going to classes and doing client meetings and looking at all the new gadgets… gizmos and gadgets and checking that stuff out. So it’s going to be pretty exciting. I think what I would like to do is, obviously, I liked the format that we’re doing. But just for our viewers, I think we might start delving into the Alive Program a little bit by doing one step per podcast over the next five podcasts. Just talk a little bit more about that what you guys think. 


Ben Gothard:  



Michael Julian:  

talking about… Yeah, we’ll start with a set maybe next week. Yeah, of course, we will… I’m sure… unfortunately, some cowardly piece of shit will give us something to talk about between now and then because these things are happening so frequently with any hope. With any luck, we won’t have any new content to talk about but in case there is we will delve… delve into those things. And then we’re gonna start having some some guests on… some people in the industry that have been involved. 


You know, several, I think we all know somebody that was in the… was in the Las Vegas Shooting or no seminars in Las Vegas shooting so we’ll start having some people and then Ben, as I told you, I will be teaching in New Orleans out near you and November. I got three engagements possibly for your synagogue. We’ll see about that. And so we got a lot of good exciting stuff coming up. Anybody who’s interested in the program, just go to… you can get the book… you can find out about the in person online program.. any of that stuff. And then of course October 25 and 26 is the next Alive Instructor Certification Course where we will be teaching a whole new round of awesome new instructors to teach the live program. So anybody interested in that you can go to and go to the training education page or something on that and just fill out the information and you’ll get an email so you can stay tuned and get involved in that. Guys, you got anything else?  Stoneman High School Shooter


Ben Gothard:  

Nope, I think this is a really interesting show… interesting episode doing it from… from the conference. So I like that.


Michael Julian:  

Yeah, like I said, a little bit of technical… technical stuff. But it, it panned out it worked right. So we put some stuff out there. And anyway guys, as usual, thank you very much. I appreciate your time to the viewers. Thank you and commend you for staying involved and being educated and in making a difference. Hopefully everybody out there spreading the word whether it’s alive or any kind of active shooter survival training, as long as it’s not scaring people and… and productive. Well, I shouldn’t say that. We scare people with some of the videos we show but it’s effective. We don’t traumatize people. Anybody… anybody out there, spread the word to keep people safe. I commend you and we will see you again next week.

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Stoneman High School Shooter


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