Retired agent Katherine Schweit served in the FBI for twenty years. Her first assignment was to the Milwaukee Division, where she worked national security matters. Her last assignment was as a senior executive, guiding the formation of the FBI’s active shooter initiative.
During this episode of FBI Retired case File Review, Katherine reviews three school shootings, Columbine H.S., Virginia Tech University, and Sandy Hook Elementary, which she studied extensively for the FBI’s initial research project she authored.
The report, A Study of Active Shooter Incidents in the United States Between 2000 and 2013, focused both on research and operational needs. She also explains the “Run. Hide. Fight.” safety campaign.
Following her time in Milwaukee, Katherine was promoted to FBI Headquarters and assigned to the Counter Intelligence Division’s Training Center at Quantico, working at a joint FBI/CIA facility at an undisclosed location. She then joined the new National Security Branch executive staff and was promoted to unit chief in the Human Resource Division, developing a system to train and organize agents based on skill sets. She moved to the FBI’s Washington Field Office to create a media and outreach program before returning to FBI Headquarters to lead the active shooter previously mentioned.
After retiring from the Bureau, Katherine opened her own consulting business, Schweit Consulting LLC, providing consulting services to businesses, schools, and others focused on improving security policies, procedures, and training.
She is the author of Stop the Killing: How to End the Mass Shooting Crisis, and the host of the Stop the Killing podcast.
A long-time adjunct faculty member at Webster University and DePaul University College of Law, she also is a topical expert for law enforcement coordination and training and deterrence with the National Center for School Safety, a multidisciplinary, multi-institutional center focused on improving school safety and preventing school violence.
Special Agent (Retired)
1997 – 2017
“Seventy percent of shootings end in 5 minutes or less. You need to keep yourself safe for a couple of minutes. If you think about, can I run, can I hide, can I fight, you’re going to survive it.”—Retired Agent Katherine Schweit
The following are links to articles about the FBI’s active shooter program and school shootings:
FBI.gov (VIDEO) – Run. Hide. Fight.
FBI.gov (GRAPHICS) – Quick Look: 277 Active Shooter Incidents in the United States From 2000 to 2018
FBI.gov – Active Shooter Resources
Reuters – 2/6/2022: ‘Tsunami’ of woes: U.S. school shootings spike amid pandemic stress
For more information about the active shooter program and FBI’s response to mass shootings, listen to: