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Freshman Studies Module

RESPONSE TO ACTIVE SHOOTERS

Since the events at Columbine High School and Virginia Tech, the response to the threat of an active shooter has become a critical emergency preparedness issue.  Members of the University community should be aware of the threat and be familiar with procedures that can help them survive an active shooter event. 

You may be alerted to the presence of an armed hosdtile intruder or an active shooter on the SHU campus by directly observing the event yourself, being informed by other persons in the area, or through the University’s warning systems: the  SHU Emergency Siren or PirateAlert.

An armed hostile intruder or active shooter could be encountered outdoors on the campus grounds or inside a University facility.  Your emergency protective actions will depend upon your location and your proximity to the suspect. 

 If the campus emergency siren sounds or you receive PirateAlert instructions to seek shelter:

  • Go indoors immediately and into a room that can be locked or barricaded.
  • Lock or barricade the door. 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.
  • Quietly monitor PirateAlert and the SHU Web Site for further instructions and information on the threat. 
  • If the threat is an armed hostile intruder or confirmed active shooter, plan what action your group would take to protect itself if the intruder attempts to break into your room.  Check for alternate exits from your room and search your room for objects you can use to resist the intruder. 
  • Report information regarding the location and description of the intruder to  9-1-1 if you can safely do so. 
  • If you can confirm that the intruder is in your building and you have a safe escape route, go to another building. 
  • If an active shooter breaks into your room, your best chance for survival is to act as a group to physically resist and incapacitate the attacker. 
  • When responding police enter your location, do not move until instructed to do so.  Follow police instructions.  Make sure your hands are visible.   

If you are indoors and you detect an armed intruder in your facility:

  • If you can safely escape from the building, get out and report your observations to 9-1-1. Warn persons along your escape route. 
  • If you cannot safely escape, go into a room that can be locked or barricaded.
    • Lock or barricade the door. 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.
    • Quietly report your observations to 9-1-1 and monitor PirateAlert and the SHU Web Site for instructions and information.
    • Plan what action your group would take to protect itself if the intruder attempts to break into your room.  Check for alternate exits from your room and search your room for objects you can use to resist the intruder. 
  • If an active shooter breaks into your room, the best chance for survival is for the occupants of the room to physically resist as a group and incapacitate the attacker. 
  • When responding police enter your location, do not move until instructed to do so.  Follow police instructions. Keep your hands visible.

If you are outside when an outdoor shooting occurs nearby:

  • If you are within 15-20 feet of a safe place or cover, duck and run to it. If not, drop to the ground immediately, face down as flat as possible.
  • Move or crawl away from the gunfire, trying to utilize any obstructions between you and the gunfire.
  • When you reach a place of relative safety, stay down.  Evaluate your situation.  Move to a safer indoor location, if circumstances allow.  Notify 9-1-1 of the event.
  • Plan what you would do if directly confronted by the shooter. Your actions will depend on your capabilities and the presence of others that can act with you.
  • Be alert for instructions from emergency responders. 

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