Active Shooter Situations...



An active shooter is defined by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security as "an individual actively engaged in killing or attempting to kill people in a confined and populated area; in most cases, active shooters use firearm[s] and there is no pattern or method to their selection of victims." Within the last few years, there have been at least 15 prominent, high-casualty producing active shooter incidents. Most of these cases have occurred in locations where the shooter has been undeterred and unobstructed from carrying out their attack. The incident locations have often been described as soft targets with limited active security measures or armed personnel to provide protection for members of the public. In most instances, shooters have either taken their own lives, been shot by police, or surrendered when forced with a confrontation by law enforcement.

The definition of active shooter includes "school shootings" and "snipers", but not usually suicide bombers. Active shooters have caused a paradigm shift in law enforcement training and tactics, as victims are not necessarily expected to escape or even survive these situations


The U.S. Department of Homeland Security quick guide to how to respond to an active shooter

"Tools to Survive an Active Shooter"

If you witness an armed individual at a mall, immediately call 911 to report the emergency. Use common sense. If hiding or escaping from danger is impossible, you should remain quiet, but we encourage you to DO SOMETHING!

If you are able to call 911, be calm and try and provide the best answers to the questions that the dispatcher asks you. While we know there may be injured people where you are and that may be your first concern when you call, our first concern is to contain and disarm that shooter(s). Without doing that, many more people could be hurt or killed.

About Fleeing

If it is possible to flee the area safely and avoid danger, do so.

If it is safe to do so, consider:

In case you must flee. Get far away from the shooting scene and contact the Police Department to advise them of your location.
Do not attempt to flee if the shooter is between you and your escape. If you are unsure, do not attempt to flee.

About Hiding in Place

If it is not possible to flee the area safely:

About Notifying Others

If the shooter comes into your room or office


Wait for the “all-clear” instruction given by an authorized or known voice.
If the staff or students do not recognize the voice that is giving instruction, they should not change their status.

After a Valid “All-Clear”