Active Shooter Situations
An “active shooter” situation is a situation when an intruder enters a building or campus grounds and threatens the personal safety and welfare of our students, faculty, staff and guests. These are the characteristics of such a situation:
- Involves one or more suspect(s) who, as police respond to the scene, are actively killing or causing serious, life-threatening bodily injury to multiple victims.
- The overriding objective of the suspect(s) appears to be that of mass murder, rather than other criminal conduct such as robbery or hostage-taking.
- Such a threat is not immediately contained and there is immediate risk of death and injury.
- Considered the greatest threat to a campus community.
- Leaves little or no time for proper planning and requires law enforcement to take immediate action
- Active shooter situations can and often develop into hostage situations upon the arrival of law enforcement.
On a national level, active shooter situations have increased and are becoming ever more serious threats to any facility that is open to the public, including colleges and universities. Events such as these are usually unpredictable and evolve rapidly, demanding response decisions that can be influenced by a number of different variables. Therefore, it is very important that faculty, staff and students immediately report any potentially threatening persons that they see anywhere on campus that appear to be armed. This is true even if the person is not currently engaged in an act of violence and would include anyone armed with a bladed instrument such as a large knife, sword, machete or firearm of any kind. Call 244-3424 for Campus Police.
How will AUM react to an active shooter situation on campus?
AUM Public Safety officials may include a "shelter in place"/"lock down" as an effort to protect the community in the event of an active shooter. However, this procedure may or may not be the best option and should be considered on a case-by-case basis. It is important to familiarize yourself with the "out" options that may be used in an active shooter situation. These include:
GET OUT if it is safe to do so
CALL OUT to report your observations if and when it is safe to do so
HIDE OUT if you cannot get out
KEEP OUT by locking doors, turning out lights, and barricading doors
SPREAD OUT to avoid being an easy target
FIGURE OUT what needs to happen next
TAKE OUT the shooter as a last resort
What is "Shelter-in-Place"?
Shelter-in-place refers to the need to remain where you are for your own safety. Employees and students generally cannot be forced to shelter-in-place; however, there are circumstances when university officials and emergency personnel will order that everyone must stay where they are for their own safety and well-being. You should consider how and where to shelter-in-place prior to having to take this measure.
A shelter-in-place order may be issued for several reasons, including:
- Severe weather
- Hazardous materials
- Intruder on campus
- Hostage situation
- Any situation where it is best for you to stay where you are to avoid a threat
The reason for the shelter-in-place order may not be immediately communicated to everyone. If a shelter-in-place order is issued:
- Stay alert for instructions and updates as they become available from the emergency personnel and university administrators.
- If class is in session, do not allow any students to leave, if possible.
- If you are in other buildings such as dorms, have everyone remain there.
- Remain calm and attempt to keep other calm.
- Stay away from windows, doors, and outside walls.
- Remain in the shelter until told everything is all clear by emergency personnel. Do not leave until you are sure of the identity or source of the person making the announcement.
If you become aware of an intruder:
- Secure doors if possible and get out of sight, away from doors and windows.
- Turn the lights off and close any blinds or curtains.
- If you are not able to lock the door for any reason, attempt to barricade the door with furniture without endangering or injuring yourself.
More Active Shooter Safety Resources
Review the Active Shooter section of the AUM Crisis Operations Manual.
Find general information on how to respond to an active shooter here.
Watch this active shooter situation training video from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.
If you have questions or wish to request active shooter situation response training, please contact Ricky Adams, Director of Public Safety.