Weapons Possession

College policy prohibits, unauthorized possession or use of firearms, explosive devices, fireworks, dangerous or illegal weapons, or hazardous materials.

Safety Guidelines for Armed Subjects, Active Shooter Situations

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 firearm(s) 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. This section provides guidance to persons who may be caught in an active shooter situation, and describes some things to expect from responding police officers.

What should you do:

In general, how you respond to an active shooter will be dictated by the specific circumstances of the encounter, bearing in mind there could be more than one shooter involved in the same situation. If you find yourself involved in an active shooter situation, try to remain calm and use these guidelines to help you plan a strategy for survival.

Active Shooter/Intruder

RUN: Evacuate, if possible

  • If there is considerable distance between you and the gunfire/armed person, quickly move away from the sound of the gunfire/armed person. If the gunfire/armed person is in your building and it is safe to do so, run out of the building and move far away until you are in a secure place to hide.
  • Leave your belongings behind.
  • Keep your hands visible to law enforcement.
  • Take others with you, but do not stay behind because others will not go.
  • Call 911 when it is safe to do so. Do not assume that someone else has reported the incident. The information that you are able to provide law enforcement may be critical (e.g., number of shooters, physical description and identification, number and type(s) of weapons, and location of the shooter).

HIDE: Hide silently in a safe place

  • If the shooter is in close proximity and you cannot evacuate safely, hide in an area out of the armed person’s view.
  • Choose a hiding place with thicker walls and fewer windows, if possible.
  • Lock doors and barricade with furniture, if possible.
  • Turn off lights.
  • Silence phones and turn off other electronics.
  • Close windows, shades and blinds, and avoid being seen from outside the room, if possible.
  • If you are outdoors and cannot RUN safely, find a place to hide that will provide protection from gunfire such as a brick wall, large trees, or buildings.
  • Remain in place until you receive an “all clear” signal from law enforcement.

FIGHT: Take action to disrupt or incapacitate the shooter

  • As a last resort, fight. If you cannot evacuate or hide safely and only when your life is in imminent danger, take action.
  • Attempt to incapacitate or disrupt the actions of the shooter.
  • Act with physical aggression toward the shooter.
  • Use items in your area such as fire extinguishers or chairs.
  • Throw items at the shooter if possible.
  • Call 911 when it is safe to do so.

What to expect from responding police officers:

Police officers responding to an active shooter are trained to proceed immediately to the area in which shots were last heard; their purpose is to stop the shooting as quickly as possible. The first responding officers may be dressed in regular patrol uniforms, or they may be wearing external bulletproof vests and helmets, as well as other tactical equipment. The officers may be armed with rifles, shotguns or handguns, and might be using Tasers, pepper spray or chemical agents to control the situation. Regardless of 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. If you know where the shooter is, tell the officers. The first officers to arrive may not stop to aid injured people; rescue teams composed of other officers and emergency medical personnel will provide aid/remove the injured/deceased when they deem it appropriate. Keep in mind that once you arrive at a safe location, the entire area is still a crime scene; police will not let anyone leave until the they determine it is safe to do so. Follow their instructions until you are advised otherwise.