Active Shooter-Aggressor

How to respond during active shooter or aggressor event

The following recommendations are options to be considered and should not be thought to be sequential. Select the best course of action according to the situation in which you find yourself.

  • If a safe path is available, run
  • Always try to escape or evacuate even if others insist on staying
  • Encourage others to leave with you but don’t let their indecision slow down your escape
  • Try to prevent others from entering the danger zone
  • Keep your hands visible for law enforcement
  • Call IUPD from either a non-campus phone or 911 from a campus phone to report the incident and to give a description and location of shooter(s) or aggressor(s)

If you can’t escape, find a place to safely hide. 

  • Remain silent
  • Turn out lights, close window blinds/curtains, lock doors if possible, and silence your cell phone ringer and vibration mode
  • If possible, barricade doors and windows with furniture and other objects
  • Stay low to the ground but don’t sit down; be prepared to move
  • Gather items to use for self-defense
  • Identify other methods of evacuating should the opportunity to escape occur (identify all doors, stairwells, or windows)
  • Render first aid to the injured if safely able to do so
  • If unable to evacuate, remain in place until the “All Clear” is released through IU-Notify or by law enforcement in the area
  • If safe to do so, call IUPD and report your location. If the shooter or aggressor is in the area and able to be heard, keep the line open for dispatchers to listen

  • As a last resort, act with aggression and use improvised weapons to distract and/or disarm the shooter or aggressor
  • Throw objects at the shooter’s head and aim for their eyes
  • Work together as a team if others are present
  • Upon use of a distraction device, immediately attempt to escape or take down the shooter or aggressor
  • Commit to action, as your life is at risk
  • Remove the weapon from the aggressor’s reach and safely hide it—do not handle it because law enforcement may perceive you to be a threat
  • If taking down the aggressor, immobilize all limbs (arms, legs, head) until law enforcement arrives

Learn more about “Run. Hide. Fight.” training

A collaboration between IUPD and Emergency Management and Continuity at IU offers a range of safety training and presentations about active shooter or aggressor response.

Contact bteter@indiana.edu about training your colleagues and/or student groups for active shooter/aggressor situations.

'Run, Hide, Fight' directions aren't meant to be sequential actions. 'Run' is viewed as the best option because it gets you away from the attack. 'Hide' is the second best option. The key, separate yourself from the incident if at all possible, and do what YOU need to do to protect yourself whether it's hiding or fighting.

Ken Long, Director of Emergency & Continuity Planning, IU Bloomington