...There is a Firearms/Shooting Incident
NOTE: An individual must use his/her own discretion during an active shooter event as to whether he/she chooses to run to safety or remain in place. However, best practices for an active shooter event are listed below.
The potential for a school shooting exists on every campus throughout the United States. Although the possession of firearms on or around the campus is prohibited, previous local and national shootings dictate the importance and need for a response plan. In the event you observe an individual with any type of weapon on the campus, immediately contact Public Safety at ext. 2222 or (619) 260-2222.
Develop a Survival Mindset
- Awareness and Preparation: Take time to understand your surroundings and environment before an emergency occurs. Ask yourself, “What if?” questions and develop a plan.
In an Active Shooter Emergency
Make a decision, trusting your instincts, to take action to protect yourself to survive the situation. You generally will have three options:
- Get away: Can you safely escape?
- Hide: Is there a good place to hide?
- Confront: Will you take out the shooter?
- If you can and you deem it safe, get out and get to a safe place.
- You will have to rely partially on instinct.
- Leave belongings behind, but take your cell phone if it is handy.
Hiding in a Safe Place
- Find a hidden location.
- Find protection behind furniture if possible.
- Find a room that locks if you can.
- If possible, close and lock the outside door to the room. Blockade the door with furniture or other heavy objects.
- Close the blinds, turn off the lights, remain quiet, silence cell phones, spread out away from other individuals, and move behind available cover. Stay on the floor, away from doors or windows, and do not peek out to see what may be happening.
- Make a plan with others in the room about what you will do if the shooter enters.
- Make a total commitment to action and act as a team with others.
- Do whatever is necessary to survive the situation.
- If possible and safe to do so, report the location of the assailant.
If Outside When a Shooting Occurs
- Drop to the ground immediately, face down as flat as possible. If within 15-20 feet of a safe place or cover, duck and run to it.
- Move or crawl away from gunfire, trying to utilize any obstructions between you and the gunfire. Remember that many objects of cover may conceal you from sight, but may not be bulletproof.
- When you reach a place of relative safety, stay down and do not move. Do not peek or raise your head in an effort to see what may be happening.
- Wait and listen for directions from Public Safety and/law enforcement personnel.
If Suspect is in Close Proximity
- An individual must use his/her own discretion about when he or she must engage a shooter for survival.
- Generally, one can lie motionless and pretend to be unconscious or confront the individual.
- Make a plan as to how you will survive the situation.
- Make a total commitment to action and act as a team with others if possible.
- Do whatever is necessary to survive the situation.
- Warn others.
- Help others escape.
- Keep others away from the danger area.
- Help the injured.
- Help others stay calm
Calling for Help
- If safe to do so, call the appropriate authorities. Do not assume that someone else has reported the incident.
- On Campus: call the Department of Public Safety at (619) 260-2222.
- Be persistent; phones may be jammed.
- Calmly identify yourself and your exact location. Remain calm and answer the dispatcher’s questions. The dispatcher is trained to obtain the necessary and required information for an appropriate emergency response.
- If safe to do so, stop and take time to get a good description of the criminal. Note height, weight, sex, race, approximate age, clothing, method and direction of travel, and his/her name, if known. If the suspect is entering a vehicle, note the license plate number, make and model, color, and outstanding characteristics. All of this takes only a few seconds and is of the utmost help to the responding officers.
- Although you are not expected to know all of the answers, answer them to the best of your ability. Even though you may think the questioning is wasting valuable time, the information you provide will enable Public Safety dispatchers to dispatch officers and other emergency personnel safely and effectively.
During your call to Public Safety, you will be asked questions, such as:
- What exactly is happening and how do you know? Is it still happening?
- Where is the suspect now? What was his/her last known direction of travel?
- Are there any wounded and how many?
- What is the specific location of occurrence?
- What types of weapons were used? Describe the weapon/s or other dangerous object/s if possible, and any visible ammunition:
- Handgun: revolver or automatic
- Ammunition: Describe type, amount and type of container (metal box, cardboard box, backpack pockets and others)
- Knife or other dangerous weapons
- Explosive device: Give specific description
- Were any shots fired? Describe the sound and the number of shots fired.
- Do you know who the suspect/s is? If yes, identify them and provide any background knowledge you may have.
When Law Enforcement Arrives
- When law enforcement reaches you, do not run at them or make sudden movements.
- The priority of the first responders will be to identify the shooter. Law enforcement will need to ensure that you are not the shooter.
- Do not scream, yell, point, or wave your arms.
- Do not hold anything in your hands that could be mistaken for a weapon (including cell phones).
- Be quiet and compliant.
- Show the officers your empty hands and follow their instructions.
- Give the number of shooters.
- Give the location and physical description of the shooter.
- Give the number and types of weapons.
- When it is safe to do so, you will be given instructions as to how to safely exit your location.
In the Event There are Hostages
Call Public Safety and be prepared to give the following information:
- Identify hostage location in building or area
- Number of assailants, if known
- Number of hostages, if known
- Identity of assailants, if known
- Any description of assailants and weapons
- Any demands made by the assailant/s
- If you are at a distance, move away from the location to a safer area.
- If you can do so safely, evacuate area to a safer location.
- If possible provide the above information to a Public Safety or Law Enforcement officer once you are in a secure location.