Episode 173:  Greg Shaffer – DC Snipers, HRT, Stay Safe Tips

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)

Greg Shaffer

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

While on the HRT, Greg conducted tactical operations in Iraq, Pakistan, Yemen, the Philippines, Indonesia, East Africa, and the United States.










Stay Safe provides clear, comprehensive, instructive and vital tips on how to recognize and survive crises when minutes matter. It can be purchased here.








Jerri Williams

View posts by Jerri Williams
Jerri Williams, a retired FBI agent, author and podcaster, jokes that she writes about the FBI to relive her glory days. After 26 years with the Bureau specializing in major economic fraud and corruption investigations, she calls on her professional encounters with scams and schemers to write police procedurals inspired by true crime FBI cases in her Philadelphia FBI Corruption Squad crime fiction series featuring flawed female FBI agent Kari Wheeler. Jerri’s FBI for Armchair Detectives nonfiction series enables readers to discover who the FBI is and what the FBI does by debunking misconceptions about the FBI in books, TV, and movies. Her books are available as ebooks, paperbacks, and audiobooks wherever books are sold. She’s also the host of FBI Retired Case File Review, a true crime podcast with more than 300 episodes available on all popular podcast apps and YouTube.

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