Active Shooter

Over the past few decades, violent events have occurred in workplaces and schools with catastrophic results. If you are involved in a situation where someone has entered the building and begun shooting, the following actions are recommended:

Avoid: If something doesn’t seem right, act on your intuition and leave the area, if possible.

The most successful strategy for surviving an active shooter event is to avoid the situation altogether. This includes prevention strategies such as early identification, intervention, and awareness.

  • If you believe that someone may pose a threat to themselves or others, call  for help immediately.
  • If the situation has not reached a critical stage, you may opt to call our non-emergency number (803-777-4215), let us know via the Rave Guardian Safety App, or use a referral system such as the university’s Behavioral Intervention Team.
  • If the threat is imminent or the attack has already begun, do not hesitate. Call 911 as you proceed to the safest location based on your assessment of what’s happening around you.
  • Do not activate fire alarms, as you may endanger others who would be safer remaining in their present location.
Deny: If getting away is difficult or impossible, you should still create distance and barriers between you and the threat.
  • Proceed to a room that can be locked.
  • Close, lock, and barricade windows and doors.
  • Turn off the lights.
  • Get down low, ensuring you are not visible from the outside.
  • Silence all cell phones and remain quiet.
  • Have one person call 911 even if you can’t speak and are only able to leave an open line.
  • Do not unlock the door or respond to voices unless absolutely certain it is the police.
Defend: If you cannot Avoid or Deny, be prepared to Defend yourself using whatever means necessary.
  • Try to remain calm.
  • If possible, dial 911. If you cannot speak, leave the line open to allow the dispatcher to hear what is going on.
  • If you are unable to escape or hide, act within your abilities, but do not do anything to further jeopardize your safety.
  • If the shooter leaves, proceed immediately to a safer location.
When the police arrive: Show your hands and follow all commands.

While it is likely that uniformed officers will be the first on scene, that is not always the case. Plain clothes officers or officers wearing different colors and styles of uniforms may respond. While some officers may not be in uniform, there will likely be some type of visual indication that they are law enforcement, such as a police badge located on a belt or a patch on the arm or chest.

Videos has produced the Run. Hide. Fight.  video to educate the public on some options if faced with an active shooter situation. If your group or class is interested in this topic and would be interested in more information, we would encourage you to contact us to schedule a class taught by a certified instructor.

Warning: This video contains some violent content.  Run. Hide. Fight. Surviving an Active Shooter Event.

To view the Avoid | Deny |Defend™  video developed by the Advanced Law Enforcement Rapid Response Training (ALERRT)™ Program at Texas State University, click here. 

Avoid | Deny |Defend™  has been developed as an easy to remember method for individuals. The video is an 11.5 minute overview of how to save your life in an Active Shooter Event


Community Response to an Active Shooter is a presentation to educate you on what to expect in the event of an active shooter: what to do, how to protect yourself and how police will respond. Request this presentation for your U101 class, academic course, meetings, student / faculty organizations, residence halls, and other meetings free of charge. Contact Major Geary at 803.777.0507 or email him at


To view the full brochure developed for the University Community, click here for a printer friendly copy.