Active Shooter / Armed Intruder

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An active shooter/armed intruder is an individual actively engaged in killing or attempting to kill people in a confined and populated area. Active shooter/armed intruder situations are unpredictable and evolve quickly. Typically, the immediate deployment of law enforcement is required to stop the suspect and mitigate harm to victims. Because these incidents are often over within minutes, before law enforcement arrives on the scene, individuals must be prepared both mentally and physically to deal with an active shooter/armed intruder situation.

Action Guidelines

Quickly determine the most reasonable way to protect your own life.

Evacuate (Get Out)
  • If there is an accessible escape path, attempt to evacuate the premises. Be sure to:
  • Have an escape route and plan in mind.
  • Evacuate regardless of whether others agree to follow.
  • Leave your belongings behind.
  • Help others evacuate, if possible.
  • Prevent individuals from entering an area where the active shooter may be.
  • Keep your hands visible.
  • Follow the instructions of any police officers.
  • Do not attempt to move wounded people.

Shelter-In-Place (Hide Out)
If evacuation is not possible, 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.
  • Block the door with heavy furniture.
If the active shooter is nearby: 
  • Lock the door.
  • Silence your cell phone and/or pager.
  • Turn off any source of noise (i.e. radio, television).
  • Hide behind large items (i.e. cabinets, desks).
  • Remain quiet.

Protect Yourself (Act Out)
As a last resort, and only when your life is in imminent danger, 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.

How to respond when law enforcement arrives:
  • Put down any items in your hands.
  • Keep hands visible.
  • Follow all instructions.
  • Avoid making quick movements toward officers.
  • Do not stop to ask officers for help or directions when evacuating. Just proceed in the direction from which officers are entering the premises.

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