Active Shooter - How to Respond

Video - Parental Guidance Suggested

RUN-HIDE-FIGHT Video (Funded by the Department of Homeland Security)

Active Shooter Options for Consideration Video (Department of Homeland Security)

Active Shooter Booklet (Review)

Active Shooter Pocket Card (Below) - Print Out and Keep at Desk)

Active Shooter - What do I do?

The below comments and recommendations are basic in nature and may not fit every instance or circumstance. However, if you follow these basic recommendations your chances of survival may increase.

Coping with an Active Shooter Situation

  • Be aware of your environment and any possible dangers.
  • Take note of the two nearest exits in any facility you’re in.
  • If you are in an office, stay there and secure the door.
  • Attempt to take the active shooter down as a last resort.

Characteristics of an Active Shooter Situation

  • Victims are selected at random.
  • The event is unpredictable and evolves quickly.
  • Law enforcement is usually required to end an active shooter situation.

How to Respond When an Active Shooter is in Your Area


  • Have an escape route and plan in mind.
  • Leave your belongings behind.
  • Keep your hands visible.

Hide Out

  • Hide in an area out of the shooter’s view.
  • Block the entrance to your hiding place and lock the doors.
  • Crouch down, don’t lay flat on the ground, bullets have a tendency to follow flat surfaces.
  • Stay at least twelve inches from the wall.
  • Silence your cell phone and/or pager.

Take Action

  • As a last resort and only when your life is in imminent danger, attempt to incapacitate the shooter.
  • Act with physical aggression and throw items at the active shooter, this will throw his aim off.
  • Use any stabbing weapons you may have, pens, pencils, scissors, or use blunt force weapons.
  • Call 911 when it is safe to do so.

How to Respond when Law Enforcement Arrives

  • Remain calm and follow instructions.
  • Put down any items in your hands (i.e. bags, jackets).
  • Raise your hands, palms facing the officers and spread your fingers.
  • Keep your hands visible at all times.
  • Avoid quick movements toward officers such as holding on to them for safety, they have no idea who you are.
  • Avoid pointing, screaming or yelling.
  • Do not stop to ask officers for help or direction when evacuating, their attention must be focused on the possibility they may come under fire, and thus you may come under fire.

Information You Should Provide to Law Enforcement or 911 Operator

  • Location of the active shooter.
  • Number and type of weapons held by shooters.
  • Number of potential victims at the location.
  • Number of Shooters.
  • Physical description of shooters.

If you have any questions or have a group of people that want to be trained on this topic, please contact our Crime Prevention Unit at 305-948-2955

Active Shooter Pocket Card (PDF)