The ITTS “Hostage Rack”

– Video of Scott Reitz discussing a hostage shot –

Those of you who have advanced to advanced level classes with us have experienced the Hostage Rack. We designed this approximately 20 plus years ago. It was born out of a necessity which the LAPD’s field procedures brought to the forefront. There have been and will always be those situations which require absolute precision in applying a singular, well defined and unforgiving shot in order to rescue others. Not all high level threats are necessarily resolved by SWAT. Some field situations will demand an immediate and unforgiving response.

A hostage shot is arguably the most demanding, high stressed and long ranging consequential shot one might ever undertake. It requires a purity of the mechanics, a resolved thought process in concert with a clinical detachment of any emotion, trepidation, anxiety or hesitancy of action. The hostage rack is a marvelous tool towards this end.

Were I to inquire as to whether or not one could hit a target at the distance of 10 feet the overall response is an emphatic “Yes.” However there is an important caveat to this. I did not specify under what conditions such a shot might be undertaken. A low level light, narrowly afforded target area, moving behind and within an unpredictable situation would most certainly add an entirely new and radically altered perspective to the overall problem.

One can view the hostage rack in use on the SureFire “Field Notes” episode # 18. What cannot be viewed are the extensive hours necessitated in order to achieve any series of pure shots when training on this device. The forward-most targets are static. The rear targets (the bad guy if you will) move laterally behind the suspect. Remarkably, most suspects, when taking a hostage, utilize this very configuration the vast majority of the time. The distance to target can vary from 100 yards in precision rifle to 50 yards in carbine resolution or as close as 10 – 12 feet when applying the pistol. The affordable target area can vary from a few inches to a full head shot. This is all predicated on the individual working the target system (generally myself) as the shooters progress through the problems presented. The hostage rack can accommodate up to 6 shooters at a time and there are many levels of approaching the problem which are subsequently dealt with as one advances from one level of complexity to the next.

One individual who was trained on this very piece of equipment was a Metro Officer by the name of Hector Felliciano. You can view his actual hostage resolution if you Google “LAPD Mexican Consulate Hostage shooting”, (or something akin to this as the vast majority of you are far more computer literate than yours truly will ever be.)

There are extensive lectures and explanations throughout the class which accompany the hostage rack regardless of the class in which it is being utilized. If you want to test your skill or experience as to where you might be in the “food chain” so to speak, then I strongly recommend you participate in a class where this is being utilized and experience it first-hand.

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