Based upon our 2020 study of K-12 Active Shooter Incidents from 1985-Present
An intervention by a School Resource Officer decreased the average duration of incidents
(without hostages)
 from 8 minutes to 2 minutes

Source: Riedman, David, and Desmond O’Neill. “CHDS – K-12 School Shooting Database.” Center for Homeland Defense and Security

SRO Interventions in K-12 Schools

Incidents where a school resource office had an impact on the outcome of an active shooter incident

December 6, 1999. Fort Gibson Middle School. Shooter fired shots at the crowd outside of the school, tackled by SRO and teacher.

March 22, 2001. Granite Hills High School. Shooter stood outside of school and fired shotgun and .22 rounds at the windows of the building. 4 students were injured by broken glass. A police officer assigned to the school fired at the shooter and arrested him.

August 30, 2006. Orange High School. Shooter fired shots with a semiautomatic rifle at the school building and at students standing outside the building, wounding two students. A school resource officer arrested him when his rifle jammed. Duration of incident was 2 minutes.

August 30, 2010. Sullivan Central High School. 62 year old Vietnam Veteran drove to school where his was a janitor. He entered the school, and pointed a .380 caliber pistol at a student.  Shooter had second loaded handgun with him. The school resource officer pulled her weapon and pointed it at the suspect. For approximately an hour, there was a standoff with both the shooter and the SRO pointing weapons at each other. Two other deputies soon arrived and cornered the shooter. He was eventually shot and killed by police after refusing to drop his weapon.

September 21, 2010. Socastee High School. Shooter was a 15 year old male, former student, who was not known to school officials. Shooter fired a handgun in the SRO’s office when SRO attempted to search his bag. SRO was burned by the gun firing but was not shot. He was able to wrestle the gun away from the shooter. Shooter also had two pipe bombs in his bag. Duration of incident was 2 minutes.

August 27, 2012. Perry Hall High School. Shooter fired shotgun in the cafeteria at the start of the school day and hit a special needs student in the back. A school guidance counselor attempted to subdue him and a 2nd shot was fired in the ceiling. Many members of the staffed rushed and the SRO subdued him.

December 13, 2013. Arapohoe High School. Shooter walked into school with shotgun, molotov cocktails, and ammunition. Fired 5 shots down hallways killing one student (no relation to shooter). Threw molotov cocktail into library. Confronted by SRO and commit suicide. Duration of incident was 80 seconds.

June 10, 2014 – Reynolds High School. Two school resource officers responded to shot fired near the gym, before lockdown was issued. Shooter was cornered in a men’s room where the attack ended by suicide. 1 student killed, 1 teacher wounded. 

September 30, 2014. An after-action report was critical about the school’s response but praised the school resource officer who responded within one minute.

February 28, 2018. Dalton High School. Shooter was a teacher at the school. He barricaded himself in his classroom and did not let students in. When the principal tried to unlock the door, the shooter told him he had a gun and shot out of the window. No one was shot. The SRO engaged the shooter and convinced him to turn himself in.

March 20, 2018. Great Mills High School. Deputy Blaine Gaskill of the St. Mary’s County Sheriff’s Office is credited with stopping a shooting that left two students wounded. Deputy Gaskill fired one shot after running a distance to confront the shooter. This was his first year as the school SRO. He is also a swat team operator.

April 20, 2018. Forest High School. SRO Deputy Jimmy Long heard a loud bang at 8:39 a.m. and quickly responded. The 19 year old suspect was taken into custody by Deputy Long 3 minutes later.

May 16, 2018. Dixon High School. Shooter fired several shots near the gym, where seniors were engaged in a graduation walk-through. Shooter ran out and was confronted by the SRO (Dixon Police Officer Mark Dallas). They exchanged shots, Shooter received non-lethal wounds and was apprehended.

May 18, 2018. Santa Fe High School. SRO John Barnes was shot in the arm during the active shooter incident. He was the first person to engage the shooter which left 10 people dead.

December 2, 2019. Waukesha South High School. School resource officer (Waukesha PD Officer Josh Tyndall) helped clear students out of a classroom after a 17 year old student pointed a hand gun. Suspect was killed by a second police officer who was in the building at the time as well.  

December 3, 2019. Oshkosh West High School. An Oshkosh Police Department resource officer Michael Wissing shot a 16-year-old student Tuesday after the boy stabbed him in the officer’s office at Oshkosh West High School. “Today’s tragic event shows that trained school resource officers can save lives,” Oshkosh Superintendent Vickie Cartwright said at a news conference.


United States Secret Service National Threat Assessment Center
2019 Analysis of Targeted School Violence

66% –  a security officer or SRO was assigned to the school (part-time or full time). 
49% – the SRO was on duty at the time of the attack

Response Times
29% – SRO response time was within 1 minute. 
7% – SRO response time was between 1 and 5 minutes

22% – Adult school staff ended the attack
12% – SRO ended the attack
0% – Attack ended by outside law enforcement responding to the scene