Response to Emergencies and Safety Hazards – Active Shooter

Active Shooter

An “active shooter” is an individual who is engaged in killing or attempting to kill people in a confined and populated area; in most cases, active shooters use firearms(s) and there is no pattern or method to their selection of victims.

  • Victims are selected at random
  • Event is unpredictable and evolves quickly
  • Knowing what to do can save lives

You have three options in an active shooter incident:

RUN

  • Have an escape route and plan in mind
  • Leave your belongings behind
  • Evacuate regardless of whether others agree to follow
  • Help others escape, if possible
  • Do not attempt to move the wounded
  • Prevent others from entering an area where the active shooter may be
  • Keep your hands visible
  • Call 911 when you are safe

HIDE

  • Hide in an area out of the shooter’s view
  • Lock door or block entry to your hiding place
  • Silence your cell phone (including vibrate mode) and remain quiet

FIGHT

  • Fight as a last resort and only when your life is in imminent danger
  • Attempt to incapacitate the shooter
  • Act with as much physical aggression as possible
  • Improvise weapons or throw items at the active shooter
  • Commit to your actions . . . your life depends on it

Law Enforcement Response to an Active Shooter

The first officers to arrive on scene will not stop to help the injured. Expect rescue teams to follow initial officers. These rescue teams will treat and remove injured. Once you have reached a safe location, you will likely be held in that area by law enforcement until the situation is under control, and all witnesses have been identified and questioned. Do not leave the area until law enforcement authorities have instructed you to do so.

When law enforcement arrives:

  • Remain calm and follow instructions
  • Drop items in your hands (e.g., bags, jackets)
  • Raise hands and spread fingers
  • Keep hands visible at all times
  • Avoid quick movements toward officers, such as holding on to them for safety
  • Avoid pointing, screaming or yelling
  • Do not ask questions when evacuating

Information to provide to 911 operations:

  • Location of the active shooter
  • Number of shooters
  • Physical description of shooters
  • Number and type of weapons shooter has
  • Number of potential victims at location