Active Shooter

Response to an active shooter requires individual decision making.  The emergency notification from the campus will provide the last known location of the threat but the shooter might have moved.  In most cases the best action is to barricade in response to a campus active shooter alert.  You should evacuate (RUN) only if you are reasonably sure you know where the shooter is and you have a clear path to an exit.

If an active shooter is reported or encountered:


  • If you are outside a building near the threat, go to nearest cover immediately.
  • If you are inside the building and you are confident you know the shooter’s location and have a clear path to an exit, evacuate immediately, and take others with you if possible.


  • If you are inside a building and the shooter(s) location is unknown, the safest option is normally to barricade:
    • If you are unsure that you can safely exit the building, secure the area by following these tips:
      • lock and barricade doors,
      • stay away from doors or windows,
      • turn off lights,
      • block windows,
      • turn off radios and computer monitors,
      • keep yourself out of sight (take cover/protection from bullets by using concrete walls or filing cabinets), and
      • silence your cell phone.
  • What to report to 911:
    • your specific location.
    • number of people at your location.
    • number of injured and types of injuries.
    • assailant(s) – location, number of suspects, race/gender, clothing description, physical features, types of weapons, backpack, shooter’s identity (if known), separate explosions from gunfire, etc.


  • As a last resort, and only if your life is in danger:
    • Work as a group if possible.
    • Improvise weapons.
    • Commit to your actions.
    • Act with physical aggression.

Be prepared for the police response:

  • Follow all instructions given by police officers.
  • Understand their first actions will be to address the threat.
  • Make sure empty hands are in plain view.

Self-report for tracking

  • Attempt to contact your immediate family. (it is good practice to designate a common point of contact that your family & friends know to call)
  • Provide information to university officials for rosters upon request.
  • Register on the emergency database designed to share information in an emergency at

  • If unable to register online, call the university safe line at 865-656-7233 to be added to the database.

Click this link to watch a Department of Homeland Security funded video 

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