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Active Aggressor / Shooter

Prepare Now

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Active shooter incidents can happen anywhere and anytime. Taking a few steps now can help you react quickly when every second counts. We recommend taking the following steps to prepare:

  • Learn how to use the Bleeding Control Kits on campus and watch training videos teaching first aid strategies.
  • Learn to recognize potentially violent behavior such as unprovoked outbursts of anger, use of hate speech, or dramatic mood swings.
  • Identify at least two nearby exits whenever you enter a building. Get in the habit of doing this.
  • Map out places to hide. Possible hiding places may include rooms without windows, behind solid doors with locks, under desks, or behind heavy furniture such as large filing cabinets.
  • Sign up to receive Y-Alerts. This emergency notification system will immediately notify you of a serious threat or emergency on or near BYU campus.
  • If you see suspicious activity, report it as soon as possible.
    Police 911
    BYU Police (801)422-0911

Survive During

When an active shooter is in your vicinity, you must be prepared both mentally and physically to deal with the situation. You have three options. Choose which is right for you.

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Run. Getting away from the shooter or shooters is the top priority. Leave your things behind, plan your exit route, and run away. If safe to do so, warn others nearby. Call 911 when you are safe. Describe each shooter, their location, and their weapons.

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Hide. If you cannot get away safely, find a place to hide. Get out of the shooter's view and stay very quiet. Silence your electronic devices and make sure they won't vibrate. Lock and block doors, close blinds, and turn off the lights. Try to communicate with police silently — such as through text messages. Stay in place until law enforcement gives you notice that all immediate danger is clear.

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Fight. Your best option when you are in immediate danger may be to defend yourself. Commit to your actions and act aggressively to stop the shooter. Ambushing the shooter together with makeshift weapons such as chairs, fire extinguishers, scissors, and books can distract and disarm the shooter.

Be Safe After

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When exiting the building during or after an active shooter incident, keep your hands visible and empty. Follow law enforcement's instructions and evacuate in the direction they tell you to.

Know that law enforcement's first task is to end the incident. When they first enter the building, they may have to pass injured persons along the way, but help will come later.

After the incident has ended, text or call your family and friends to let them know you're safe. Consider seeking professional help to cope with the long-term effects of trauma.

Additional Resources

Active Shooter Reference Guide

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has developed a series of materials to assist in preparing for and responding to an active shooter. These products include a desk reference guide, a reference poster, and a pocket-size reference card.

FEMA IS-905: Responding to an Active Shooter: You Can Make a Difference

In 2022 FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Institute) created the following Independent Study course for individuals to help prevent and prepare for a potential active shooter situation. This course provides guidance to individuals, including managers and employees, so that they can prepare to respond to an active shooter situation. The course should take approximate 30 minutes to 1 hour to complete.

Caution: Please be aware that these videos contain simulated acts of violence which may be disturbing and not suitable for all viewers.

“If You See Something, Say Something™” Protect Your Every Day PSA (English)

Options for Consideration Active Shooter Training Video

RUN. HIDE. FIGHT.® Surviving an Active Shooter Event - English

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BYU Protective Actions

Run, Hide, Fight is only one of BYU's recommended actions during an emergency. Learn about our other recommended Protective Actions by visiting these pages.