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Retired Agent Greg Shaffer served in the FBI for twenty years. During his career, he spent six years on the FBI’s elite Hostage Rescue Team (HRT). In this episode of FBI Retired Case File Review, Shaffer reviews the multi-agency response to apprehend the D.C. Snipers, later identified as John Allen Muhammad and Lee Boyd Malvo, the men responsible for the random shootings of ten people in the Washington D.C. area during 23 days in October of 2002. He also discusses the origin and role of the HRT, and provides safety tips, especially for when confronted by an active shooter.
While on the HRT, Greg trained with Department of Defense Special Mission Units and foreign counter-terrorism teams and conducted tactical operations in Iraq, Pakistan, Yemen, the Philippines, Indonesia, East Africa, and the United States. Greg is an FBI certified Crisis Negotiator, Firearms Instructor, Defensive Tactics Instructor, Advanced Tactical Instructor, Close-Quarter Battle (CQB) Instructor, Rappel Master, and Paramedic.
Greg also served as the FBI’s Legal Attaché in Budapest, Hungary. On two occasions Greg was assigned to the FBI Office in Dallas, Texas, where he served on the North Texas Violent Crime Task Force and supervised the North Texas Joint Terrorism Task Force.
He is recognized as one of the leading experts and authorities on the phenomenon of “active shooter” events and Domestic Terrorism Prevention and has appeared on numerous national television and radio networks, including Fox, CBS, NBC, and ABC. He is the author of Stay Safe: Security Secrets for Today’s Dangerous World and the founder and President of Shaffer Security Group a global security, risk management, and tactical training specialty firm based in Dallas, Texas. You can learn more about him at shaffersecuritygroup.com
Special Agent (Retired)
June 1995 – June 2015
“Once you barricade yourself, then start looking for improvised weapons, whether it’s the high heel of your shoe, the tactical pen in your pocket, the leg of a chair, or a pair of scissors. Look for improvised weapons. Fight back!” —Retired Agent Greg Shaffer
The following are links to FBI website articles about the D.C. Sniper investigation and Hostage Rescue Team, as well as updates on Lee Boyd Malvo and multi-agency crisis event tips:
FBI Famous Cases – Beltway Snipers
Homeland Security Today – The Inside Story of Snagging the Beltway Snipers: Developing Tools to Sort the Tips (Crime Scene Photo Gallery
Washington Post – Supreme Court to consider whether Beltway sniper Lee Boyd Malvo deserves new sentencing
The following is a 6 Part FBI overview about Hostage Rescue Team (HRT):
Part 1: Three Decades of Service
Part 2: The Crucible of Selection
Part 3: Training for Every Contingency
Part 4: Night Maneuvers
Part 5: Held to a Higher Standard
Part 6: Mission in the Gulf of Aden
Video: HRT Marks 30 Years