Skip to Content

After Nipomo and Paso Robles shootings, experts discuss active shooter training

Nipomo Shooting
San Luis Obispo County Sheriff's deputies respond to active shooting incident in NIpomo Friday morning. (Dave Alley/KEYT)

NIPOMO, Calif. - Law enforcement experts say that active shooter situations are happening more frequently. The Nipomo shooting Friday is the second active shooter situation in San Luis Obispo County in three months.

A man opened fire at Nipomo's Vons gas station Friday. He was later shot by law enforcement. There were no reported injuries of civilians or police.

In June, a man opened fire on the Paso Robles police building. It started a two day manhunt before the suspect was also shot by law enforcement. In that case, multiple officers were injured.

Experts say training evolves every time a major shooting occurs.

"They have video simulated training where you go in shooting a... squib," or a bullet full of paint, said Dan Payne, a local retired FBI Agent.

Training with simulations, video or physical, are important to building an officer's ability to react immediately.

Often in active shooter situations, officers will use automatic weapons, flash bangs, and drones. In barricade situations, they will also use breaching tools.

"We would train in daylight, at night, use of a flashlight, smoky conditions, all types of conditions that you would encounter," said Payne.

Tony Cipolla with the San Luis Obispo County Sheriff's Department said Friday that generally Nipomo is a very safe town, but shootings can happen anywhere at anytime.

Officers have to be prepared for anything. With rapidly changing situations, nothing is simple.

"A big misconception with the public is the old cowboy movies where Gene Autry could shoot the gun out of the bad guy's hand," said Payne. "That doesn't work in real life. You'll want to shoot to neutralize the situation."

Officers train so they can make split second decisions, but those decisions have lifetime consequences.

"It's traumatic. You see officers shoot somebody and you say, it's their training," said Payne. "No, they're regular people and they'll think about this the rest of their lives."

Article Topic Follows: Safety

Jump to comments ↓

Author Profile Photo

Anikka Abbott

Anikka Abbott is a weather anchor and reporter for News Channel 3-12. To learn more about Anikka, click here.


News Channel 3-12 is committed to providing a forum for civil and constructive conversation.

Please keep your comments respectful and relevant. You can review our Community Guidelines by clicking here

If you would like to share a story idea, please submit it here.

Skip to content