An active intruder threat involves a situation where an individual or individuals come on campus with the intention to cause serious harm to others. The intruder(s) usual intention is to continue until stopped by police and/or suicide.
Many of these incidences are often over in a very short period of time – ten to fifteen minutes. You need to assess your situation and take responsibility for your personal safety and security. Try to stay calm. Trust your instincts, and use care when making decisions. It is important to understand that any action taken or not taken during an active shooter incident may involve life-threatening risk.
Incidents occurring inside buildings
If a firearm is involved, obviously the first warning may be observation of the armed intruder(s). The intruder(s) may have one or a combination of weapons and/or explosives. You may also be alerted by shots fired, or the sounds of people in distress.
If you hear shots fired or a commotion that leads you to suspect danger is near, trust your instincts. Investigate, where safe to do so, and try and determine what is happening around you and if you are in danger, but do not put yourself at risk.
In the event that you witness a person(s) with weapons and/or a situation where it appears that danger is imminent, you must first consider your own safety. Determine if you can leave the area safely. If you have not been detected, and you have an escape route, your best option may be to leave. Move as quickly and quietly as possible to a safe area. Call 911. If you are not able to leave safely, you may have to seek shelter.
The purpose of sheltering yourself is to protect you and others from the intruder.
If you cannot leave safely, you must seek shelter from an armed intruder.
- Immediately move to the nearest room you feel is safe with as many people as possible.
- Lock and/or barricade the door. Block the door with desks, chairs, etc. to make it very difficult for the intruder to enter and cause you harm.
- Turn off lights and/or maintain minimal lighting.
- Close/lock and stay away from all windows and blinds.
- Lie flat on the floor or take adequate cover out of sight.
- After contacting Police/CEP, turn off or silence your cell phone.
- Remain calm and quiet and do not attempt to leave.
- Comfort others who may be panicking and assist injured if necessary.
- Consider making a plan in case the intruder gains access to the room.
- Do not attempt to leave until police or CEP arrive and tell you it is safe.
- When police do arrive, show your hands slowly. Do not run towards them. Wait for police to approach you and follow their instructions.
Get the Word Out
Report what is happening: Immediately call 911 and report the incident. It is important to give as much detail as possible about the situation and the intruder(s), such as physical description, type(s) of weapon(s) involved, and the location of the incident. The operator may ask you to stay on the line. Once finished with 911, call CEP on the Emergency line at 4100 (St. John’s) or 2888 (Grenfell) from an office phone, or 864-4100 (St. John’s) or 637-2888 (Grenfell) from a cell phone. Explain your situation, location and after you notify CEP, silence your phone.
Wait for police/or CEP to arrive. Do not enter hallways, stairwells, etc. until instructed to do so. Upon arrival of the police, obey their instructions. Do not make any quick movements, wait for their instructions. Slowly show your hands. The police do not know you and they have to be satisfied that you are not a threat to them. They may hand cuff you, search you or ask you to remain still. These are routine measures until they believe they have the situation under control.
Upon notice of an active intruder(s) on campus, the University will attempt to notify students, faculty and staff through various means of communication and provide them with notice of what is happening and where it is happening and what action to take to preserve their own personal safety. The notification may inform the community that police are on route or are already on site. It may also advise you to secure your area and/or hide out.
The police will, be the primary responder to an active intruder incident. They may control entry and exit and movement within a facility to allow them to better respond to the situation.
Once police have contained a situation, they may determine that it is safe and necessary to evacuate the building. If instructed to evacuate a building, follow these instructions:
- A designated person will lead the evacuation in orderly fashion taking a specific safe route away from the danger areas. Police and/or CEP may also be involved in this process.
- Where possible, assist those requiring assistance.
- Do not interfere with any physical evidence.
- Move orderly and quickly to designated assembly point. You may have to provide your contact information to the police personnel and/or be interviewed. What you know may be of critical importance to the police.
Incidents occurring outside of buildings
- Figure Out If you hear shots fired or a commotion that leads you to suspect danger is near, trust your instincts. Investigate, where safe to do so, and try and determine what is happening around you and if you are in danger, but do not put yourself at risk.
- Move quickly to a safe place where you can take cover and/or see protection.
- Use whatever cover is available to protect you (vehicles, trees, etc.).
- Run, walk quickly, or crawl to safety. Try to put as much distance as you possibly can between you and the shooter.
- Once you feel you are not in immediate danger, report what is happening by calling 911. It is important to give as much detail as possible about the situation and the intruder(s) such as physical description, type(s) of weapon(s) involved, and the location of the incident. The operator may ask you to stay on the line. Once finished with 911, call CEP on the Emergency line at 4100 (St. John’s) or 2888 (Grenfell) from an office phone in a building, or 864-4100 (St. John’s) or 637-2888 (Grenfell) from a cell phone. Explain your situation, location and after you notify CEP, silence your phone.