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Small Business Owners: What To Learn From Current Events

Lance Guillory
October 23, 2023

Recent events serve as a reminder to small and medium-sized businesses that inadequate or absent security measures can result in potentially life-threatening situations.

Remembering The Las Vegas Shooting

Stephen Paddock carried out a mass shooting at the Route 91 Music Festival in Las Vegas on October 1, 2017. The incident resulted in the death of 58 people and injuries to over 700. A joint investigation by the LVMPD and FBI was launched immediately.

Paddock, a 64-year-old man with no criminal history, had residences in Mesquite and Reno, Nevada. He had extensive international travel, often unaccompanied, and took multiple cruises. Interviews with relatives and acquaintances revealed that Paddock seemed to live a normal life. He had a history of purchasing firearms, acquiring 29 from 1982 to September 2016 and over 55 from October 2016 to September 2017, including rifles and related items like scopes and bump stocks.

When the shooting took place, Mandalay Bay Security Officer Jesus Campos was assigned to check alarms in various rooms of the hotel. While on the 30th floor, Campos encountered a door that wouldn't open. He went to the 33rd floor, used the guest elevator, and discovered an "L" bracket preventing the door from opening.

After reporting the issue, Campos heard gunfire from room 32-135 and realized he had been shot in the calf. He took cover and notified his dispatch. Engineer Stephen Schuck, who was fixing a leak in another room, was directed to address the bracket issue on the 32nd floor.

Down below was the Route 91 Harvest Festival in Las Vegas, where the active shooter began targeting concertgoers. Gunfire was initially mistaken for fireworks, but officers quickly realized the situation and broadcasted it over the radio. Jason Aldean ran off the stage, and both officers and concertgoers provided aid to the victims. The gunfire appeared to come from an elevated position, potentially the Mandalay Bay Hotel. Medical personnel were requested for multiple gunshot victims.

Multiple officers and teams entered the Mandalay Bay from different entrances, and a SWAT team reached the 32nd floor via the stairwell. After breaching the doors to room 32-135, they found the shooter deceased.

The room contained multiple rifles and expended casings. Another breach was made to access room 32-134, where several rifles were also found. The evacuation and medical treatment of victims continued at the Las Vegas Village venue, with injuries ranging from minor to fatal. Many wounded individuals were transported to nearby hospitals for treatment.

This is a concise overview of the active shooter incident.

Best Practices for Patron Protection

Remember that active shooter situations can occur anywhere. If you own or operate a business, venue, or event that openly welcomes patrons, we urge you to have proper safety measures in place. Begin with a Physical Security Risk Assessment, or start protecting your customers and employees today with Physical Security Risk Packages.

What We Learned from The Garden Grove Knife Attack

On August 7, 2019, an assailant entered an insurance office in Garden Grove, California wearing a dark hoodie and carrying multiple knives. He proceeded to stab the victim inside of the insurance office before fleeing the scene on a spree. The suspect was eventually apprehended by police at a local 7-Eleven, after being shot with less-lethal rounds and sustaining injuries.

The victims of the Garden Grove knife attack included four individuals who were fatally wounded and two others who sustained serious injuries. The victim inside of the insurance office survived, and the suspect was identified as 33-year-old Zachary Castaneda.

Active Assailants in Small Businesses: How to Prepare and Respond

The motive behind the Garden Grove knife attack is still unknown, but authorities believe it may have been a robbery gone wrong. Despite said motive, it is crucial for small businesses (SMBs) to prioritize effective security measures in their establishments. The Garden Grove knife attack serves as a reminder that no business is immune to potential threats.

If you're an SMB with similar security levels, such as:

  • Easy access to the entrance/exit door,
  • A walk-in friendly environment,
  • And minimal on-site security personnel,

We recommend a high-level Physical Security Risk Assessment to identify potential threats that could harm your business. It is imperative that you implement proper security measures because you are vulnerable.

Immediate Threats SMBs Face

One of the immediate threats for SMBs with low security levels is the possibility of a walk-in assailant, similar to the assailant in the Garden Grove incident. Without controlled access, any person can easily enter your business, potentially posing a threat to your staff and customers.

Deploying proactive measures can decrease the likelihood of a successful adversary attack, such as: 

  • A buzzer system to allow patrons in and out, which can significantly enhance the control over who enters your premises. 
  • Regular Situational Awareness Training for your employees to equip your team with skills to identify and respond appropriately to potential threats.
  • Updated and established Emergency Response Plans for quick and coordinated team responses to an emergency situation.

Critically, SMB owners must understand that failure to have adequate security measures in place can result in life-threatening situations.

Investing in a comprehensive Physical Security Risk Assessment, identifying your vulnerabilities, and implementing relevant security protocols are all essential steps in creating a safer business environment, and Safe Haven Risk Management offers you these security solutions. Don't wait until it's too late. Prioritize your business's security now.

Have a security matter that needs attention? Reach out to us for a response within 24-48 hours.

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