What to Do During an Active Shooter Situation
An active shooter is a person actively engaged in killing or attempting to kill people in a confined and populated area. Although the likelihood of an active shooter event occurring at MSU is extremely low, it is important that members of the MSU community understand how to respond should they find themselves in such a situation. Below is guidance regarding what to do during an active killer event, as well as what to expect when law enforcement arrives on scene.
Immediate Emergency Actions:
- Run: Can you safely escape? At the first signs of a possible active killer situation, flee the area as quickly and quietly as possible. Move away from the sound of violence and do not stop for anything along the way. Warn others of the danger and keep people away from the building once you have escaped.
- Hide: If running is not an option, hide in a room that you are able to lock or barricade; if you can't find a room, hide behind a large, solid object that blocks you completely from view. If it is safe to do so, call 911 and alert dispatch to the shooter's last known location. Keep the line open even if you are unable to talk so that the dispatcher is able to track the situation.
- Fight: In certain situations, when running and hiding are not possible, prepare to fight back against the aggressor. Use heavy or pointed objects to aid in your defense. Engaging the aggressor as a group is always more effective, and once the decision is made to retaliate, you should not hesitate.
Law Enforcement Response:
REMEMBER: Law Enforcement’s first priority is to confront and disable the threat.
When Law Enforcement Arrives
- When law enforcement reaches you, do not run at them or make sudden movements.
- Responding officers will not necessarily know the identity of the shooter and may treat everyone they encounter as a possible suspect.
- Do not scream, yell, point, or wave your arms.
- Do not hold anything in your hands that could be mistaken for a weapon (including cell phones).
- Show the officers your empty hands and follow their instructions.
- Remain calm and follow the instructions of the responding officers.
- The first officers to arrive at the scene will not stop to help injured persons: their task is to proceed immediately to the shooter/threat.
- Once the threat has been neutralized, safety corridors will be established and the building will be evacuated.
Information to Provide to Law Enforcement or 911 Dispatchers
- Building name and address
- Location of the agressor(s)
- Number of agressors
- Physical description of agressor(s) (weight, height, race, gender, clothing color and style, etc.)
- Number and type of weapons held by the agressor(s) (handgun, rifle, shotgun, explosives, knife)
- Number of potential victims at the location
Preparation and Prevention:
- When in doubt, report any suspicious activity or behavior to 911 or the Dean of Students.
- Remain calm to avoid provoking disruptive individual(s)
- Do not physically confront the person and do not block the person’s access to an exit
- Do not let anyone into a locked building/office
- Keep away from the area and alert others to the danger
- Provide as much information as possible about the person and his or her direction of travel
- Maintain a safe distance from the suspect until emergency personnel arrive. Do not attempt to subdue the individual; avoid direct eye contact
- Follow instructions of emergency personnel
- If told to seek safe shelter, get inside immediately and lock doors
- If an active shooter situation develops, remember: Run, Hide, Fight