DePaul University Emergency Plan > Violence > Active Shooter

Active Shooter

An active shooter is a person or persons who appear to be actively engaged in killing or attempting to kill people, or injuring people, most often in populated areas.  In most cases, active shooters use firearm(s).  In some cases, active shooters use improvised explosive devices to cause additional victimization.  Active shooter situations evolve rapidly, demanding immediate response by local authorities.  

All active shooter events are to be reported to 9-1-1 immediately and then to the Public Safety Office at the Loop Campus (312-362-8400) or the Lincoln Park Campus (773-325-7777).  Thereafter, the Public Safety dispatcher will notify their officers immediately. 

In addition, the following actions are recommended:

Run from the threat: If you have a clear path of escape
Don’t gather belongings first
Know all emergency exits wherever you are
If you’re in an open area and there’s distance between you and the shooter, run in a zig-zag pattern
Prevent others from entering the area where shooter may be
Keep your hands visible
Call 911 when you are safe

Hide: Barricade or secure your area to delay the attacker if you do not have a clear path of escape
When in doubt, seek a secure location
Lock room/office, stay quiet, turn lights off, hide under desk, in closet, cell phone on silent (not just vibrate)
If room does not lock: barricade door with whatever is available-chairs, tables, desk, etc. In classrooms, use door barricade device if available.
Stay in place until instructed to leave the building by public safety or law enforcement (Don’t open the door unless you can confirm it’s the authorities)

Fight: As a last resort, attempt to incapacitate the shooter, improvise weapons or throw items
Attack as a team if possible, from multiple angles
Use items such as chairs, fire extinguishers, coffee mugs, etc.

If you are not immediately impacted by the incident, please take the following action:
Stay away from the building/area;
Notify everyone around you to stay away from the area;
Obey all verbal direction given by law enforcement/public safety officers;
Take protective action and stay away from door and windows.

When law enforcement arrives, remain calm and follow officers’ instructions. Keep hands visible at all times.