Active harmer incidents can occur anywhere at anytime. If an active harmer incident occurs near you, Run. Hide. Fight.


Get away from where the attack is occurring. Go to a place of calculated safety away from the location.  Call 9-1-1 and provide the location of the attack and a description of the attackers, if possible.


If you cannot get away from where the attack is occurring, find a room where you can hide. If you have to hide out:

  • Lock the door
  • Turn off the lights
  • Spread out in the room
  • Silence phones, etc.


You and classmates or friends may find yourselves in a situation where the attack will accost you. If such an event occurs, quickly develop a plan to attack the shooter. Use items at your disposal for improvised weapons, throw items to distract the shooter, and consider a plan to tackle the shooter, take away his weapon, and hold him until police arrive.

Law Enforcement Response

Law enforcement agencies in Boulder County, including the University of Colorado Police Department, have trained on responses to active shooting incidents. Be mindful that police response will come as expediently as possible, but in the first few minutes of such an incident you may have to rely on your own actions to assure your safety. If you have further questions, please feel free to contact the University of Colorado Police Department at 303-492-8168.

This short video, "Run. Hide. Fight. Surviving an Active Shooter Incident" was produced by the city of Houston through a grant from the Department of Homeland Security and can provide you with the basic information you will need to survive an attack. The video includes scenes of a simulated active harmer situation. Viewer discretion advised.


In Spanish



Be Aware & Be Prepared

  • This type of event can happen here. Universities are inherently open environments, and are difficult to secure.
  • Be knowledgeable of resources available for persons who appear to need psychological or emotional help.
  • Is there someone you know who may be showing warning signs, such as unusual or erratic behavior?
  • The Student of Concern team (SOCT) is a campus resource dedicated to assisting students who may be in distress or who may be experiencing challenging or difficult life circumstances. Learn more at the SOCT website
  • Counseling assistance for CU students is available at Counseling and Psychological Services.  
  • Active shooters have been suicidal. They believe they are going to die and have nothing to lose by killing.
  • Active shooting incidents create chaos. Expect a confusing environment. React with a simple plan that maximizes potential for safety.
  • There may be more than one “right” answer in your response.
  • Your initial response may need to be changed to another alternative.
  • Have the mindset that this will happen here at some point.
  • Know you will act and will survive.