Gunman

Any situation involving an active shooter will evolve rapidly. In most cases there is no pattern or method to their selection of victims. Immediate deployment of law enforcement is needed to stop the shooting. Assess the situation. How you respond to an active shooter will be dictated by the encounter and your degree of safety.

If an active shooter is OUTSIDE YOUR BUILDING:

  • Remain calm;
  • Go to the closest room that can be locked;
  • Once you are in a secure room, close and lock all the doors. If a room can’t be locked, barricade the door with furniture, chairs or any large obstacles that would slow the shooter down if he were to open the door. Outward swinging doors tie the door closed with rope, belt or any type of material than can be used to secure to the door and keep the door closed. Inward swinging doors barricade with desks, chairs, large objects that are hard to move quickly.
  • Turn off lights and get everyone in the room down on the floor so no one is visible from outside the room; if there are windows in the door or the wall of the room, block those off if at all possible so that no one can see into the area.
  • Gather any makeshift weapons that can be used to attack the shooter should he/she enter the space. Such weapons could be a fire extinguisher, pens and pencils, any sharp objects such as scissors, or anything that can be used as a weapon. Understand that if the shooter enters the area you may have to fight for your life and the lives of others so be prepared to do so.
  • Call 911
    • Tell the 911 Dispatcher quietly what you know about the situation, where you are, how many people are with you, the number of gunman involved, what you are wearing, if possible, what the shooter is wearing and if there are any injuries;
    • When you are finished talking to the 911 dispatcher, put the phone on silent/vibrate so the dispatcher can call you back: answer only if you are sure its is safe to do so;
  • Remain in place and wait for the "ALL CLEAR" signal(s);
  • Remember, an unknown voice may be the shooter trying to lure you from safety; do not respond to any voice commands unless you can verify that they are a CMU Official or other emergency personnel.

If an active shooter is INSIDE YOUR BUILDING:

  • Remain calm;
  • Close and lock all doors and try to secure the room. If your room can't be locked:
    • Barricade the door with furniture, chairs or any large obstacles that would slow the shooter down if he were to open the door. Outward swinging doors tie the door closed with rope, string, belt or any type of material than can be used to secure to the door and keep the door closed. Inward swinging doors barricade with desks, chairs, large objects that are hard to move quickly. or
    • Determine if there is a nearby location that can be reached safely and secured; or
    • Determine if you can safely exit the building. If exiting a building do not allow the exit door to lock behind the last person and block the door’s lock by placing a stone or other object in the door frame so that it can be reopened in the event you need to reenter the building as the crisis progresses; 
  • Once in a secure room, turn off lights and get everyone in the room down on the floor so no one is visible from outside the room; if there are windows in the door or the wall of the room block those off if at all possible so that no one can see into the area.
  • Call 911
    • Tell the 911 Dispatcher quietly what you know about the situation, where you are, how many people are with you, the number of gunman involved, what you are wearing, if possible what the shooter is wearing and if there are any injuries;
    • When you are finished talking to the 911 Dispatcher, put the phone on silent/vibrate so the dispatcher can call you back; answer only if you are sure it is safe to do so;
  • Gather any makeshift weapons that can be used to attack the shooter should he/she enter the space. Such weapons could be a fire extinguisher, pens and pencils, any sharp objects such as scissors, anything that can be used as a weapon. Understand that if the shooter enters the area you may have to fight for your life and the lives of others so be prepared to do so.
  • Remain in place and wait for the "ALL CLEAR" signal(s);
  • Remember, an unknown voice may be the shooter trying to lure you from safety; do not respond to any voice commands unless you can verify that they are a CMU Official or other emergency personnel.

If an active shooter ENTERS YOUR OFFICE OR CLASSROOM:

  • Remain calm;
  • If possible, call 911;
    • If you cannot speak, leave the line open so the 911 dispatcher can hear what is going on;
  • Attempt to conceal yourself under a desk or in a corner or closet. Be prepared to attack the shooter should your concealment fail.
  • Grab any makeshift weapons that can be used to attack the shooter. Such weapons could be a fire extinguisher, pens and pencils, any sharp objects such as scissors, anything that can be used as a weapon. If a shooter enters your office or classroom your chances of survival are better if you are willing to fight for your life so be prepared to do so. Statistically a shooters intentions are to take as many lives as possible and negotiations for your life will likely not exist. Your chance of survival and the survival of others is higher if you fight for your life and the lives of others.
  • These decisions will be made quickly based on what gives you the best chance at survival.

Regardless, of where the gunman is, REMEMBER:

  • If you decide to flee during an active shooting situation, make sure you have an escape route in mind;
  • Do not carry anything so you can move quickly and not be mistaken for the shooter;
  • Keep your hands visible for police and do exactly what they tell you to do;
  • Do NOT stop to help any injured victims or try to remove them. Leave them where they are and notify emergency personnel or a CMU Official of their location once you have reached a safe location;
  • Do not leave the area until you have been cleared to do so by the police;
  • If you are not in the vicinity of the shooting, and are outside, seek shelter in the nearest building and wait for the "ALL CLEAR" signal. Shooters may continue to move from building to building so remain indoors and alert to any threats.
 
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