Stadium Snipers

As Americans, we enjoy large public venues such as concerts,…

As Americans, we enjoy large public venues such as concerts, sports and political events presented at arenas and stadiums all over this country. We go to watch our kids or professionals play sports, musicians perform and even monster trucks roar and jump—accompanied by hundreds or thousands and sometimes tens of thousands of fellow spectators.

Who provides the protection if someone in the crowd decides to go berserk, fulfill a violent plan or enact a terrorist plot? Without any fanfare and generally unseen, a lot of venues have law enforcement over-watch already setup to ensure that this does not occur. Precision law enforcement special operation shooters are deployed with the ability to observe and, if necessary, intervene to stop the threat from their final firing positions (FFP).


That is if they have taken the time to pre-plan, pre-deploy and train for the unique situation of high-angle precision fire in response to an immediate deadly threat in a crowded environment. The “Police Sniper Response to a Public Venue” course sponsored by the Texas Tactical Police Officer Association (TTPOA) provides the country’s best police precision rifle shooters—the cream of the SWAT sniper crop—the training and practice to achieve this level of ballistic competency.




Course Breakdown
The four-day course begins by ensuring that both the weapons and shooters are capable of delivering precision shots at any range. The students also visit local venues to learn what to look for and seek out when establishing an FFP. The class quickly realizes the complexity and difficulty in operating in large arenas like Cowboys Stadium and why physical fitness for a sniper is essential. Classroom time is provided to teach the theory, equipment and practical applications of delivering accurate, high-angle fire.


The course includes plenty of live-fire exercises and drills that force each shooter to engage targets within the Cotton Bowl. Students are required to demonstrate their ability to accurately engage threats (MGM bullet traps set at various places within the stadium) using their own rifles and duty ammo. Sometimes the drills have the students respond as a pre-positioned team or as part of a response to an event. The drills include deployment from an armored vehicle and helicopter as well as movement from the ground floor to different levels of the stadium to make immediate and accurate shots while receiving intel from communications during the run.



It wasn’t easy, but the students were in unanimous agreement that what they learned will be directly applied to make their own public venues safer. This unique and informative course can help every local special response team ask the right questions, obtain the right gear and contact their local arenas to coordinate additional safety for people gathered there. The real payback is that the information learned will provide real deterrence to acts of violence by bad guys seeking an easy or soft target who now know that guardian angels might be keeping watch behind the lights. Look for a full write up of this unique and timely course in an upcoming issue of Guns & Weapons of Law Enforcement. For more information, visit ttpoa.org.

Check out page 2 for more images.

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  • nik

    Boston should have hired one. Since when are there such possibilities?

  • SAUL

    it looks to be a LARUE TACTICAL OBR – http://www.laruetactical.com

    made in TX , too

  • anon

    @ Kyle I believe it’s a Remington MSR.

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  • Right Coast

    Anyone see The Last Boy Scout with Bruce Willis and Damon Wayans? If you haven’t fast forward to the end…stadium snipers!

  • Bo

    U of T -1966, Charles Whitman, with his 6mm Rem. 700. He had a brain tumor and suffered mental delusions. A person who fell through the cracks of our mental health system. Flash-forward to 2011, Jared Loughner shot a massive number of people in AZ. Another example of someone who fell though the cracks of our mental health system. They weren’t terrorists in the Islamic sense. The measures detailed in this link never prevent or prove to be a deterrent. You can never stop/deter/prevent a crazed shooter. These snipers won’t be shooting at a lone bomber either. Nice to have, but the presence doesn’t make me feel any safer. NYPD ESU is at every Yankee game in the Bronx. There are ESU fellows prowling the subways in the all the transit hubs. I appreciate what they do. Not every situation in life needs to be approached like a hammer to a nail.

  • Don

    Those mounts are very steady, but they don’t look like you can move them around very easy to follow a moving target. Rarely do targets stay in one place when inflicting casualties.

  • John

    Bo, while it only took the life of the bomber, I’d point you to the incident at the University of Oklahoma on October 1, 2005. A student attempted to enter the stadium during a football game with a homemade IED. He was apparently deterred by the bag checks at the entrance. He detonated on a bench just outside. It’s unclear if the explosion was accidental or suicidal. Had he been able to dodge the bag checks (I know, I know—what a waste of money and where will we be in twenty years?) or simply detonated in the crowd outside, the results would have been catastrophic.

  • Big DS

    Oh, and you won’t mind those, “.308 rounds…whistling down”, if they are saving your life from some crazy sob intent on killing you.

  • Big DS

    Bo don’t know security! Bo, your comment is gibberish.

    1. There have always been a few crazies out there that dream of taking out large numbers of people in a crowded venue like a stadium. Think University of Texas in 1966. Imagine if that guy targeted a stadium instead. The death toll would have been MUCH higher.
    2. The only thing that has changed is that we have become more vigilant and prepared. The terrorists have opened our eyes to the need to be better prepared for threats that have existed for decades.
    3. The America of the “good ole days” you fantasize about wasn’t any more secure. In fact it was more dangerous and scary. The difference now is that you/we can prepare for an isolated terrorist attack or crazed shooter. Where before there was no need to prepare. There was no adequate preparation for nuclear annihilation.

  • Bo

    Troubling that the America I’ve lived in for 62 years has come to this. Look into the future another ten or twenty years……where do you think we’ll be? This is somewhat a waste of taxpayer money too. What events have taken place that have taken multiple human lives in America today? Any at a stadium? I certainly wouldn’t want to be in that stadium crowd when .308 rounds are whistling down around me.

  • Ed

    My compliments to TTPOA for providing this invaluable training venue.

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  • Larry

    Saul, it’s a larue OBR

  • saul

    Can anyone name that semi-auto 308 in the video shooting with the suppressor??

  • article of the year

  • Chris

    Really interesting story with some great images.
    Personally I would feel a lot better knowing I had guys like this watching over me while at a large public event.
    I wonder to what extent this kind of protection will be deployed at the upcoming London Olympics?