Skip to content

Active Shooter Response

How to respond when an active shooter is in your vicinity:


  • Have an escape route and plan in mind.
  • Leave your belongings behind.
  • Keep your hands visible.


  • Hide in an area out of the shooter’s view.
  • Block entry to your hiding place and lock or barricade the doors.
  • Silence your cell phone.


  • As a last resort and only when your life is in imminent danger.
  • Attempt to incapacitate the shooter.
  • Act with physical aggression and throw items at the active shooter.


How to Respond When Law Enforcement Arrives

  • Remain calm and follow instructions.
  • Put down any items in your hands (i.e., bags, jackets).
  • Raise hands and spread fingers.
  • Keep hands visible at all times.
  • Avoid quick movements toward officers such as holding on to them for safety.
  • Avoid pointing, screaming or yelling.
  • Do not stop to ask officers for help or direction when evacuating.

Information You Should Provide to Law Enforcement or 911 Operator

  • Location of the active shooter
  • Number of shooters
  • Physical description of shooters
  • Number and type of weapons held by shooters
  • Number of potential victims at location

Un-Securing an Area

  • Consider risks before un-securing rooms.
  • Remember, the shooter may not stop until they are engaged by police.
  • Unfamiliar voices may be the shooter attempting to lure victims from their safe space; do not respond to any voice commands until you can verify with certainty that they are being issued by a police officer.
  • Efforts to rescue people should only be attempted if it can be accomplished without further endangering the persons inside a secured area.
  • Consider the safety of many versus the safety of a few.
  • If doubt exists for the safety of the individuals inside the room, the area should remain secured.

What do I do if a shelter in place order is issued?

The University of Tampa provides a free emergency alert text messaging service to students, faculty and staff.