An active shooter is a person who is using a firearm or other weapon with the intent to injure or kill others. An active shooter incident can occur under a variety of circumstances, so no one set of guidelines is able to cover specific actions to take in every situation. An individual must use his/her own discretion during an Active Shooter event as to whether he/she chooses to move to safety or remain in place. However, best practices for surviving an active shooter are presented below.
If an Active Shooter is outside your building or inside the building you are in:
- Move to a room that can be locked or barricaded; lock and barricade all doors and windows.
- Turn off lights, close blinds, and turn off radios and silence cell phones.
- Stay out of sight and away from windows; take adequate cover (e.g., desks, filing cabinets).
- If feasible, call 911 and report:
- Your location, including building name, floor and room number
- What is happening. If you were able to see the offender(s), give description of the person(s) sex, race, clothing, type of weapon(s), location last observed, direction of travel, and identity – if known
- Number of people at your specific location
- Injuries, if any, including the number of injured and types of injuries
- Your name and other information as requested
- Wait until a uniformed police officer or a University official identifies themselves by name or position and provides an “all clear” or notice of “all clear” comes via the Text Alert System.
- Unfamiliar voices may be an active shooter trying to lure you from safety; do not respond to voice commands until you can verify with certainty that they are being issued by a police officer or university official.
- Depending on the circumstances, consideration may also be given to exiting via ground floors or walkways as safely and quietly as possible. If so, do not carry anything in your hands, keep your hands visible and follow instructions given by any police officer you may encounter.
If an Active Shooter enters your office or classroom:
- Try not to do anything that will provoke the offender.
- If there is no possibility of escape or hiding, only as a last resort when it is imminent that your life is in danger should you make a personal choice to attempt to negotiate with or overpower the assailant (s).
- Call 911 if possible, and provide the information listed above.
- If the assailant(s) leaves the area, barricade the room or proceed to a safer location.
If you encounter an Active Shooter outside:
- Move away from the shooter or sounds of gunshots/explosions
- Look for appropriate locations for protection (e. g., walls, trees, and parked vehicles)
- Try to warn others to take immediate shelter
- Call 911 if possible, and provide the information listed above
First Responder Actions
- Law enforcement will deploy to the location of the active shooter with the primary goal of stopping the shooter. Police officers responding to an active shooter are trained to proceed immediately to the area in which shots were last heard; their purpose is to stop the shooting as quickly as possible.
- The first responding officers will likely be from LSUHSC-NO Police and/or New Orleans Police Department, and will normally be in teams of two or four; they may be dressed in regular patrol uniforms, or they may be wearing external bulletproof vests, Kevlar helmets, and other tactical equipment.
- The first officers to arrive will not stop to aid injured people; rescue teams composed of other officers and emergency medical personnel will follow the first officers into secured areas to treat and remove injured persons.
- Responding officers may be armed with rifles, shotguns, or handguns, and might be using pepper spray or tear gas to control the situation. Regardless of how they appear, remain calm, and do as the officers tell you. Put down any bags or packages you may be carrying and keep your hands visible at all times.
- Responding officers may point firearms at you while seeking the threat. This is a normal part of their training and response. Avoid any sudden movement and obey all officer commands. Keep your hands visible to officers at all times