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Campus Response in Active Shooting Situations

Immediate Response – Active Shooter Situations in Public Places

While the possibility that you will be at or near the scene of a violent confrontation in our area is very small, you should make yourselves, and your family and friends, fully aware of what you may need to do to stay safe. The first steps in doing so require you to be alert to your surroundings at all times, and to stay informed. This document provides guidance to those citizens who may be caught in an active shooting situation. The response by Law Enforcement to these situations will be different.

First, a hostage situation differs from an Active Shooter scenario. A hostage situation is one in which a person takes control over another person, is demanding some type of action, and is not allowing the victim(s) being held to leave. The hostage taker is not actively killing or injuring people. The hostage taker is holding people against their will. In hostage situations, Police will respond and attempt to communicate with the hostage taker(s).

An "active shooter" is a person or persons who appear to be actively killing or attempting to kill people in a single location. These situations have happened in schools, shopping malls, businesses, streets, and other public venues. The situations are dynamic in nature, and require immediate action by law enforcement personnel to stop the shooter.

How one responds at an active shooter situation will be determined by the specific circumstances of the encounter. If you find yourself involved in an active shooter situation, try to remain calm and use the following guidelines as a strategy for survival.

Some Guidelines for Responding in Active Shooter Situations

If an active shooter is outside your building

If an active shooter is inside the building with you

If an active shooter enters your office or classroom

If it is possible to flee an active shooting situation

What you should expect from law enforcement responding to an active shooter

Keep in mind that even once you are in a safe location, the entire area is a crime scene. The police usually will not let anyone leave until the situation is completely under control. Police may ask for a statement of what you heard and observed. Your cooperation with the Police will be vital.