An active shooter is a person who appears to be actively engaged in killing or attempting to kill people in a populated area; in most cases active shooters use firearms and there is no pattern or method to their selection of victims. These situations are dynamic and evolve rapidly, demanding immediate deployment of law enforcement resources to stop the shooting and mitigate harm to innocent victims. This document provides guidance to faculty, staff, and students who may be caught in an active shooter situation, and describes what to expect from responding police officers.
Guidance to faculty, staff, and students
If you find yourself in the middle of an active shooter event, your survival may depend on whether or not you have a plan. The plan doesn't have to be complicated. There are three things you can do that make a difference:
RUN, HIDE, FIGHT
If you can get out, do so
Always try to escape or evacuate, don't let others slow you down with indecision
Getting yourself out of harms way is your #1 priority
Once you're out of the line of fire, call for help
Use 911 (Dialing 911 from a campus phone will connect with DPS.
Dialing 911 from a cell phone will connect you with Prince George's County Communications. Be sure to give the call taker your exact location.
Use 301-405-3333 to contact UMD Public Safety (Emergency Line)
If you can't get out safely, you need to find a place to hide
Act quickly and quietly
Try to secure your hiding place as best you can
Turn out lights and lock doors
Silence your cell phone
If you can't find a safe room or closet, try to conceal yourself behind large objects that may protect you.
Do your best to remain calm
As a last resort, if your life is at risk, whether alone or working together as a group, FIGHT!
Act with aggesion
Disarm the shooter
Commit to taking the shooter down, no matter what.
Remember ... RUN, HIDE, FIGHT
What to expect from responding police officers
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 normally be in teams; they may be dressed in regular patrol uniforms, or they may be wearing external bulletproof vests, Kevlar helmets, and other tactical equipment. The officers may be armed with rifles, shotguns, or handguns, and might also be using pepper spray or tear gas to control the situation. Regardless of how they appear, remain calm, do as the officers tell you, and do not be afraid of them. Put down any bags or packages you may be carrying and keep your hands visible at all times; if you know where the shooter is, tell the officers. 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. Keep in mind that even once you have escaped to a safer location, the entire area is still a crime scene; police will usually not let anyone leave until the situation is fully under control and all witnesses have been identified and questioned. Until you are released, remain at whatever assembly point authorities designate.