Recent spike in active shooter incidents

- SALT LAKE CITY, (ABC 4 Utah) – A handful of active shooter reports have surfaced across the country, most recently at an airport, school and shopping mall.

According to a new study by a Texas State University professor, the violent crime rate is dropping nationally, but the incidence of mass shootings events has sharply increased in recent years.

U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder said mass shooting incidents have tripled in recent years. There have been 12 mass shootings so far in 2013.

Salt Lake Residents said they feel safe even though a man was recently arrested for plotting to attack City Creek Shopping Center.

“It was a little shocking when we heard that there was someone planning to blow up City Creek, but you can’t live in fear,” Kody Meyers said.

University of Utah Professor of Law Wayne McCormack said we can have some degree of safety depending on what we’re willing to give up.

“You can go lock yourself in a vault and be safe, but is that any way to live,” McCormack asked.

Homeland Security expert Tom Panuzio said Utahns need to live their lives, but there is no denying mass attacks are becoming more violent.

“More people are picking very crowded spots, airports, schools, malls, to conduct these attacks,” Panuzio said. “

The study said 40 percent of events occur at businesses, 30 percent at schools (from kindergarten to universities,) 18 percent occurred in outdoor public places and 12 percent occurred in other locations.

The other locations, which include places like shopping malls, movie theaters and military bases, may worry people more, but are in reality the least common.

But McCormack said we shouldn’t let that impact our liberty or turn into a country with fewer freedoms.

“I would much rather risk a bit of danger than to live in such a world,” McCormack said. “We risk a lot more danger on the highways than people shooting us.”

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