Armed Suspect and Active Shooter

An active shooter situation is a person or persons actively engaged in killing or seeking to kill people in a populated area; in most cases armed suspects use firearm(s) and there is no pattern or method to their selection of victims. These situations are dynamic and evolve rapidly. You must be prepared to react quickly to save your life.


If there is an accessible escape path, attempt to quickly evacuate the premises.

  • Have an escape route and plan in mind. Evacuate regardless of whether others agree to follow.
  • Alert others to the danger as you are fleeing. Prevent individuals from entering an area where the active shooter may be.
  • Do not carry anything while fleeing. Move quickly, keep your hands visible, and follow the instructions of any police officers you may encounter. Do not stop to ask responding officers for help or direction, just evacuate in the direction from which officers are entering.
  • Do not attempt to remove injured people. Instead, leave wounded victims where they are and notify authorities of their location as soon as possible.
  • Evacuate to a safe area away from the danger and take protective cover until emergency responders arrive.
  • Do not try to drive off campus until advised it is safe to do so by police or campus officials.


If evacuation is not possible or is inadvisable, find a place to hide where the active shooter is less likely to find you.

  • If you can do so safely, inform other building occupants.
  • Close and lock or barricade the windows and doors. Turn off all the lights and get everyone down on the floor or in a location that ensures no one is visible from outside the room. Silence cell phones and any other source of noise.
  • Have one person in the room quietly call Campus Police at 694-5111 to provide information. If you cannot speak, leave the line open and allow the dispatcher to listen.
  • Remain in place and wait for police to assist you in getting out of the building. Do not answer the door or respond to commands until you are certain they are issued by a police officer.


As a last resort, and only when you are in imminent danger of losing your life, attempt to incapacitate the active shooter.

  • Completely commit yourself mentally to taking any action necessary, including physical violence and deadly force, to save your life.
  • Use weapons and any other available means to render the suspect unable to continue. Act as aggressively as possible to put a stop to the shooter’s actions. This is a life or death situation you must win.

Information to provide to law enforcement or dispatcher:

  • Your name and location
  • Location and number of the suspect(s), if known
  • Physical description and/or identification of suspect(s), if known
  • Number and type of weapons involved
  • Number of potential victims at the location
  • Injuries to anyone and their location, if known

What to Expect from Responding Police Officers

Police officers responding to an armed suspect are trained to proceed immediately to the area in which shots were last heard and stop the threat as quickly as possible. The first responding officers may be in teams with officers in different states of uniforms and equipped with various tactical gear and weapons including rifles or shotguns. Regardless of how officers appear, remain calm and do as they tell you. Remember to keep your hands free and visible at all times. Avoid pointing, screaming, or making quick movements towards officers. If an officer points a firearm at you, make no movement that may cause the officer to mistake your actions for a threat.

The first officers to arrive will not stop to aid injured people. Rescue teams comprised of other officers and emergency medical personnel will follow the first officers into secured areas to treat and remove injured persons.

Once you have reached a safe location or assembly point, you will likely be held in that area until the situation is under control and all witnesses have been identified and questioned. Do not leave until law enforcement authorities have instructed you to do so.