Active-shooter incidents have tripled since 2009: Holder

<p>Attorney General Eric Holder says the number and the lethal nature of active-shooter incidents nationwide have soared over the past five years.</p> <p>In remarks to the nation's police chiefs in Philadelphia on Monday, Holder said the United States saw an average of five active shooting incidents a year between 2000 and 2008.</p> <p>"Alarmingly, since 2009, this annual average has tripled. We've seen at least 12 active shooter situations so far in 2013."</p> <p>The Department of Homeland Security defines an active shooter as an individual actively engaging in killing or attempting to kill in a confined and populated area. Recent examples include the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting in Newtown, Conn., in December and the Navy Yard shooting in Washington, D.C., last month.</p> <p>Over the past four years, Holder said, the number of people shot and killed in these incidents is up nearly 150 percent. </p> <p>"It's become clear that new strategies and aggressive national response protocols must be employed to stop shooters in their tracks," Holder said. </p> <p>Many police departments have abandoned the contain-and-wait strategy in favor of a more aggressive response that calls for the first officers on the scene to attempt to engage the shooter instead of waiting for the SWAT team to arrive.</p> <p>"That's why all law enforcement officers must have the best equipment and most up-to-date training to confront these situations," Holder said. "We owe these officers nothing less."</p> <p>Holder said the Justice Department, over the past decade, has helped train 50,000 front-line officers, more than 7,000 on-scene commanders, and over 3,000 local, state, and federal agency heads on how to respond to active shooters. </p>