An active shooter is a person who appears to be actively engaged in killing or attempting to kill people in a populated area. In most cases, active shooters use firearms and there is no pattern or method to their selection of victims. These situations are dynamic and evolve rapidly, demanding immediate deployment of law enforcement resources to stop the shooting and mitigate harm to innocent victims.
IF YOU FEEL THAT AN ACTIVE SHOOTER IS ON CAMPUS
- Call District Police immediately.
- Remain calm and answer the dispatcher's questions. The dispatcher is trained to obtain the necessary and required information for an appropriate emergency response.
- If safe to do so, stop and take time to get a good description of the criminal. Note height, weight, sex, race, approximate age, clothing, type of weapon used, method and direction of travel, and his/her name, if known. If the suspect is entering a vehicle, note the license plate number, make and model, color, and outstanding characteristics. All of this takes only a few seconds and is of the utmost help to the responding officers.
NOTE: An individual must use his/her own discretion during an active shooter event as to whether he/she chooses to run to safety or remain in place. However, best practices for an active shooter event are listed below.
IF OUTSIDE WHEN A SHOOTING OCCURS
- Drop to the ground immediately, face down as flat as possible. If within 15-20 feet of a safe place or cover, duck and run to it.
- Move or crawl away from gunfire, trying to utilize any obstructions between you and the gunfire.
- When you reach a place of relative safety, stay down and do not move.
- Wait and listen for directions from District Police and/or public safety personnel.
IF SUSPECT IS OUTSIDE YOUR CLASSROOM/OFFICE
- Stay inside the classroom/office.
- If possible, close and lock the outside door to the room.
- Close the blinds, turn off the lights, remain quiet and move behind available cover. Stay on the floor, away from doors or windows, and do not peek out to see what may be happening.
- If possible and safe to do so, report the location of the assailant.
IF SUSPECT IS IN CLOSE PROXIMITY
- Lie motionless and pretend to be unconscious.
- Do not attempt to apprehend or interfere with the suspect except for self-protection.
- An individual must use his/her own discretion about when he or she must engage a shooter for survival.
What to expect from responding Officers
Police Officers responding to an active shooter are trained in a procedure known as Rapid Deployment and proceed immediately to the area in which shots were last heard. Their purpose is to stop the shooting as quickly as possible.
They may be dressed in regular patrol uniforms or they may be wearing external bulletproof vests, Kevlar helmets and other tactical equipment. The officers may be armed with rifles, shotguns or handguns and might also utilize pepper spray or tear gas to control the situation. Regardless how they appear, remain calm, do as the officers tell you and do not be afraid of them.
Put down any bags or packages you may be carrying and keep your hands visible at all times. Since the police do not know who the suspect is, they may stop, question, or search you.
If you know where the shooter is, tell the officer. The first officers to arrive will not stop to aid injured people, their goal is to respond to the shooter's location to neutralize or isolate them as quickly as possible. Rescue teams composed of other officers and emergency medical personnel will follow the first officers into secured areas to treat and remove injured persons.
Keep in mind that even once you have escaped to a safer location, the entire area is still a crime scene; police will usually not allow anyone to leave until the situation is fully under control and all witnesses have been identified and questioned. Until you are released, remain at whatever assembly point authorities designate.