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In September 2013, a gunman who killed 12 people in an office building in the Washington Navy Yard was on the loose for an hour before police finally located him. But now new technology designed to quickly pinpoint an active shooter in a workplace has the potential to save lives, experts say.
In a demonstration of the Guardian Active Shooter Detection System, TODAY national investigative correspondent Jeff Rossen played the part of an office worker in a cubicle while a weapons expert posed as an active shooter elsewhere in the building.
The second the expert fired a blank from his gun, Rossen received a computer alert as well as a text on his phone showing exactly where the “shooter” was. In addition to alerting employees, the system automatically triggers an emergency call to local police the moment the first shot is fired. “The key to the whole system is it’s fully automated,” explained Shooter Detection Systems CEO Chris Connors. “There isn’t a human in the loop.”
The system continued to trace the weapons expert’s shots, showing Rossen when it was safe to escape the building. The company says the technology is already installed in dozens of buildings from coast to coast, as well as in schools.
Ed Davis, who was Boston’s police commissioner during the Boston Marathon bombing and now works for Shooter Detection Systems, said, “It’s a game changer and it’s going to save lives.”