(MOBILE, Ala.) - Local 15 got an inside look at how law enforcement is trained in the use of deadly force.
Greg Peterson spent some time with the FBI to find out how agents are trained to know when, and when not, to shoot.
It all starts with a pretend scenario playing out on a screen.
"My partner is shot," says one training agent. An active shooter is in a school. Several victims are down.
I come around the corner to see this: It's a shooter holding a hostage.
"Freeze!" the agent yells.
Agents in the FBI train long and hard on simulators like this one, and even with live ammo for these very scenarios.
"There are four elements under the law, and FBI policy, that have to be met before you can employ deadly force."
Special Agent George Glaser is a principle firearms instructor at the FBI office in Mobile.
"It's gotta be a serious threat. Death or some sort of serious bodily injury, and there have to be a lack of safe alternatives," he says. "It's a very complex, rapidly evolving situation.. and you have to carefully examine the facts."
In most cases, those facts have to be considered in a matter of seconds.
"People on drugs do not feel pain," Glaser explains. "So the pain compliance methods we're taught will not work."
But the most important lessons may not come from a simulator, they come from on-the-job experience.
"Generally speaking, experience is going to help you maybe stay a little more calm, be able to analyze things a little bit better, but that's not conclusive." Glaser says.
What is conclusive: these situations are all different, and can be fatal for the officers involved.
Special Agent Glaser made it clear that these are the FBI's rules for the use of deadly force.
Each individual law enforcement agency could adapt these parameters to make them even more specific.