How to Respond
As of 14 Feb. 2013
The Loyola community is encouraged to become familiar with how to respond to an “active shooter,” should such an event occur.
Research shows that if you have thought in advance about what you would do in the event of an incident, your chances of survival are greatly improved.
Profile of an Active Shooter
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.
These situations are unpredictable and evolve quickly, requiring an immediate police response to stop the shooting and mitigate harm to victims. Police departments all across the nation have been refining procedures and training for a response to an “Active Shooter” scenario. What has significantly changed is the intent of the perpetrator. Recent events indicate the intent is to kill or injure as many community members as they can and then take their own lives.
Because active shooter situations are often over quickly, before law enforcement arrives on the scene, individuals must be prepared both mentally and physically to deal with an active shooter situation.
If you find yourself in an active shooter scenario, try to remain calm and use these guidelines to plan a strategy for survival. You may have to alter some of these suggestions depending on the situation. Remember run, hide or fight.
Your safety starts with personal planning and diligence.
It is unwise to think “it can’t happen here.”
Be aware of your surroundings and learn what to do in an emergency situation. We must prepare ourselves in the event we have an active shooter or other significant threat to life on our campus. If we should have an Active Shooter on our campus your chances of survival increase dramatically if you know what to do.
We will make every effort to warn you of threats on our campus through the Loyola Emergency Network System (LENS). LENS incorporates E2 Campus for SMS, Loyola’s e-mail network, Public Address Systems and in some buildings through the fire alarm notification system. Unfortunately these warnings often cannot be made until after the act of violence has started.
- Evacuate: (Run)
- Your best option always is to run, get out and get away. Put as much distance between you and the shooter as possible.
- If safe to do so, attempt to evacuate the building
- Have an escape route and plan in mind
- Seek shelter in a safe location and await instructions from police or university officials
- Evacuate regardless of whether others agree to follow
- Leave your belongings behind
- Notify anyone you may encounter to exit the building
- If you encounter responding law enforcement officers, keep your hands visible and follow all instructions
- Responding officers will point firearms at you while seeking the threat. This is a normal part of their training and response to active shooter situations.
- Call 911 or Loyola Campus Police at 5911 when it is safe to do so
Provide the following information to police:
- Location of incident (be specific)
- Number of shooters (if known)
- Description of shooter and any other identifying information
- Number of wounded
- Your current location
2. Hide Out: (Hide)
If evacuation is not possible find a place to hide where the active shooter is less likely to find you.
- Go to the nearest room or office out of the active shooters view
- Allow others who may need refuge to hide out with you if safe to do so
- Close and lock the door. If the door will not secure, barricade the door with heavy objects (i.e. bookcases, furniture, desks, chairs, etc.)
- Turn out lights and silence all cell phones or electronics
- Hide behind large objects (file cabinets, desks, bookcases) which could provide protection if shots are fired in your direction.
- Remain calm and quiet
- DO NOT answer the door until the situation is clear.
- Call 911 or 5911 if it is safe to do so and provide the following information:
- Location of incident (be specific)
- Number of shooters
- Description of shooter
- Your location
3. Take action against the active shooter: (Fight)
As a last resort, and only when your life is in imminent danger, attempt to disrupt and/or incapacitate the active shooter.
- Act as aggressive as possible against the shooter
- Throw items (water bottles, books, chairs, etc.)and utilize improvised weapons
- If there is more than one person, formulate a plan of attack to take down the shooter
- Darken the room and place trip hazards in path of shooter, if you manage to trip the shooter jump onto the shooter and disarm if possible and call 911 immediately
- Do not remain a stationary target
4. What to expect from responding law enforcement officers:
- Officers usually respond in teams of four (4)
- Officers may be armed with rifles, shotguns and handguns
- Officers may aim their arms at you
- Officers may use pepper spray or tear gas to control the situation
- Officers may be wearing regular uniforms, external bulletproof vests, Kevlar helmets and other tactical equipment
- Officers may shout commands and push individuals to the ground for safety
- Remain calm and follow officers instructions
- Put down any items in your hands (i.e. bags, jackets, backpacks, cell phones, etc.)
- Keep your hands visible at all times and spread your fingers
- Avoid making quick movements towards officers or grabbing ahold of them
- Avoid pointing, screaming and/or yelling at officers
- Do not stop to ask officers questions when evacuating, proceed in the direction from which officers are entering premises
- Information you may need to provide responding officers:
- Location of the active shooter
- Number of shooters, if more than one shooter is involved
- Physical description of shooter (s)
- Number of potential victims at the location
- First arriving officers will not stop to help injured persons. Expect rescue teams to follow
- You may be asked (if able-bodied) to assist evacuate wounded
- Once you reach a safe location or staging area, you will likely be held at that area until law enforcement has the situation under control and all witnesses have been interviewed regarding what you may have witnessed
- Do not leave until instructed to do so
Learn What to Do:
A self-paced, independent study course titled “Active Shooter, What You Can Do” (IS-907) is offered through the Department of Homeland Security. This course will provide guidance on how to prepare for and respond to an active shooter crisis. The course is free of charge and takes approximately forty-five minutes to complete.
Active Shooter Survival Videos:
Last resort "Active Shooter Survival"
Run, Hide, Fight