Active harmer incidents can occur anywhere at anytime. This short video, "Run. Hide. Fight. Surviving an Active Shooter Incident" was produced by the city of Houston and can provide you with the basic information you will need to survive an attack.


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Be Aware and 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.

Awareness and Action—The Keys to Survival

If an active shooting incident occurs near you, try to:

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

Hide out. If you cannot get away from where the shooting 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.
  • Inventory potential weapons

Take out. You and classmates or friends may find yourselves in a situation where the shooter 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.