Enterprise Risk Management

Managing Safety for the University

Campus Active Shooter

An active shooter event cannot be predicted to follow any pattern and the response to an active shooter is one of the most dynamic situations that anyone will ever face.  We hope that you take the time to review this material and find some helpful information to assist you in preparing for an active shooter situation and how to react and what to expect from responding officers.

  • An active shooter is an individual actively engaged in killing or attempting to kill people in a confined and populated area;
  • In most cases, active shooters use firearms and there is no pattern or method to their selection of victims.
  • Active shooter situations are unpredictable and evolve quickly. Typically, the immediate deployment of law enforcement is required to stop the shooting and mitigate harm to victims.
  • Because active shooter situations are often over within 10 to 15 minutes, before law enforcement arrives on the scene, individuals must be prepared both mentally and physically to deal with an active shooter situation.

Prior to the arrival of police personnel, how you respond to an active shooter will be dictated by the specific circumstances of the encounter, keeping in mind there could be more than one shooter involved in the same situation. If you find yourself in an active shooter situation, try to remain as calm as possible as your actions will influence others, trust your instincts, and call 911 as soon as possible.

Emergency response to an active shooter is not a traditional response.

  • Police officers responding to an active shooter are trained to proceed immediately to the area in which shots were last heard in order to stop the shooting as quickly as possible.
  • They will not stop to provided assistance or directions, as the immediate threat is the priority. The responding officers may be in teams dressed in normal patrol uniforms, or they may be wearing external ballistic vests and other tactical gear.
  • The first responding officers will be focused on stopping the active shooter and creating a safe environment for medical assistance to be brought in to aid the injured.
  • Do exactly as the officers instruct. Put down any bags or packages you may be carrying and keep your hands visible at all times; if instructed to lie down, do so. If you know where the shooter is, tell the officers.

Develop a Survival Mindset

We cannot cover every possible situation that might occur. An individual must use his/her own discretion during an active shooter event as to whether he/she chooses to run to safety or remain in place.

Awareness and Preparation: Take time to understand your surroundings and environment before an emergency occurs. Ask yourself, “What if?” questions and develop a plan. In the event you observe an individual with any type of weapon on the campus, immediately contact the University Police Department at ext. 2611 or 361-593-2611 or call 911. 

Visit the following links for additional information:

Active Shooter

Active Shooter Pocket Card