A violent intruder on campus is an unfortunate reality that we
must all consider. Pre-planning for this type of incident is your
best chance for survival. Be sure to know your escape routes from
every office or room you frequent and be prepared to change your
mind-set from being the victim to becoming the aggressor.
UPD provides these guidelines to give you the advantage of
preparation if you are ever faced with a violent intruder
situation. These guidelines are not a guarantee, but you can
greatly improve your chances by becoming familiar with them.
For additional information, see
Shooter & Violent Intruder (ALICE) Presentation.
If someone on campus starts shooting or attacking victims in any
manner, apply survival strategies:
- Seek physical protection - lockdown, cover, concealment.
- Listen, watch for the attacker.
- Again, always look for opportunity to escape.
- Attack the attacker as a last resort.
- If safely able, provide assistance to others.
- Follow any directions given to you by any authority on the
scene, such as: police, medical, search and rescue personnel,
senior building coordinators or building emergency team
- Remember, the police do not know who the attacker is. Do not
rush up to the police or grab police personnel. Keep your hands
up, open and visible.
If Shelter in Place is Necessary
If exiting from a building is not possible or is unsafe, shelter
in place in the nearest room or office, and as it is safe to do so,
secure the immediate area:
- Close the door. Use extreme caution if someone knocks or asks
for help. It might be a violent intruder pretending to need
- Barricade the door with furniture, but keep your body clear
of the doorway.
- Tie down door, if possible, using belts attached to door
handle or door opener above head. You may also jam the door
opener with other objects available in the room.
- Turn off the lights.
- Close the blinds.
- Stay silent.
- Turn off radios, computer monitors, and put cell phones on
- Use whatever you can to take adequate cover such as concrete
walls, thick desks, filing cabinets. Remember, bullets can go
through plaster walls.
- If there is more than one of you, spread out. Do not huddle
- If attacker enters your area and you have no other option for
escape, fight back, distract attacker by throwing whatever
objects you have available at attacker's face (books, staplers,
- Commit to attack as a group (swarm).
- Grab the shooter's extremities (arms, legs, head) and take
shooter to the ground using body weight to secure shooter.
- Fight dirty: bite, kick, gouge eyes, etc. Do whatever it
takes to survive!
- Continue to fight until the intruder is no longer a
- Always look for ways to escape.
If Evacuation is Necessary
If your safest action is to evacuate a building:
- Exit immediately by any means necessary (break windows).
- Consider if a fall from the window will kill you.
- Make an improvised rope out of clothing, belts or any other
item that can be used to limit the distance you will fall.
- Hang by your hands from the window ledge.
- Attempt to fall into shrubs, mulch or grass to decrease the
- Run in a zig-zag fashion and don't stop running until you are
a safe distance from danger area.
- On your way out, instruct anyone you see to exit the building
- Go to a pre-planned rally point that is a safe distance from
If You Have Incapacitated the Violent
- Call 911 and advise law enforcement the intruder(s) is
- Give your location and stay on the phone, if possible.
- Secure the suspect with belts, body weight, etc.
- Move any weapons away from the intruder.
- Raise your hands and drop to your knees, if possible, so you
do not appear as a threat to responding law enforcement
- Provide first aid to others in the room, as needed.
After the Incident
- If necessary, seek medical attention.
- Assist police by offering any information you know about
individuals involved in the shooting or about what you saw or
experienced during the incident.
- Seek counseling, if needed.