Active Shooter

An active shooter is a person or persons who are actively engaged in killing or attempting to kill people, or injure people, in a confined or populated area. In most cases, active shooters use firearm(s). In some cases, active shooters use improvised explosive devices to cause additional destruction. Active shooter situations evolve rapidly, demanding immediate response by local authorities.

All active shooter events are to be immediately reported to local authorities by calling 9-1-1 first. Facilities should be informed only after 9-1-1 has been contacted. The following actions are recommended:


  • If there is an accessible escape path and you feel it is safe to leave, exit the building/area immediately.
    • Have an escape route and plan in mind
    • Evacuate regardless of whether others agree to follow
    • Leave your belongings behind
    • Help others escape, if possible
    • Prevent individuals from entering an area where the active shooter may be
    • Keep your hands visible
    • Follow instructions from law enforcement officials
    • Do not attempt to move wounded people

Calling 9-1-1

  • When safe call 9-1-1 and provide as much information as possible.
    • Location of the active shooter
    • Number of shooters on site
    • Physical description of shooter
    • Number and type of weapons held by shooter
    • Number of potential victims at the location

Hide Out

  • If exiting the building/area is not possible or you do not feel it is safe to leave, find a place to hide where the active shooter is less likely to find you.
    • Your hiding place should:
      • Be out of the active shooter’s view
      • Provide protection if shots are fired in your direction (i.e., an office with a closed and locked door)
      • Not trap you or restrict your options for movement
  • To Prevent an Active Shooter from entering your hiding place:
    • Lock the door
    • Blockade the door with heavy furniture
  • If the active shooter is nearby:
    • Lock the door
    • Silence your cell phone and other personal electronic devices
    • Turn off any source of noise (i.e., radios, televisions)
    • Hide behind large items (i.e., cabinets, desks)
    • Remain quiet
  • If evacuation and hiding out are not possible:
    • Remain calm
    • Dial 911, if possible, to alert police to active shooter’s location
    • If you cannot speak, leave the line open and allow dispatcher to listen

Take Action

  • As a last resort, and only when your life is in imminent danger, it is your sole decision to take action and attempt to disrupt and/or incapacitate the active shooter by:
    • Acting as aggressively as possible against him/her
    • Throwing items and improvising weapons
    • Yelling
    • Committing to your actions

For more information, watch the following video: