Active Shooter Response

Active Shooter Safety Guidelines

Though we hope we never encounter an active shooter situation on the University of Michigan campus, we know preparation and advance planning can guide our actions and help reduce the negative impacts of such a tragic event. This information provides guidance to faculty, staff, students, and visitors who may encounter an active shooter situation. It also describes what you can expect from responding law enforcement officers.

Click here for Active Shoote Response Instructions

An active shooter is a person or persons who appear to be actively engaged in killing or attempting to kill people in populated areas on campus. In most cases, active shooters use firearm(s) and display no pattern or method for selection of their victims. In some cases, active shooters use improvised explosive devices (IEDs) to cause additional victimization and act as an impediment to law enforcement and emergency services responders. These IEDs may detonate immediately, have delayed detonation fuses, or may detonate on contact. Active shooter situations are dynamic and evolve rapidly, demanding immediate response by the community and immediate deployment of law enforcement resources to stop the shooting and prevent harm to the community. Be aware that the 911 system may become overwhelmed.

Police officers responding to an active shooter are trained to proceed immediately to the area in which shots were last heard in order to stop the shooting as quickly as possible. The responding officers may be in teams dressed in normal patrol uniforms, or they may be wearing external ballistic vests and other tactical gear. The first responding officers will be focused on stopping the active shooter and creating a safe environment for medical assistance to be brought in to aid the injured. Do exactly as the officers instruct. Put down any bags or packages you may be carrying and keep your hands visible at all times; if instructed to lie down, do so. If you know where the shooter is, tell the officers.

Keep in mind that, even once you have escaped to a safer location, the police usually will not let anyone leave the area until the situation is completely under control and all witnesses have been identified and questioned. Until you are released, remain at whatever assembly point authorities designate.

Contact the DPSS Community Outreach unit for Active Shooter Safety Training:

Call: (734) 763-8391

Keeping Updated

If an active shooter situation develops, the University will implement its Emergency Management Plan and will combine efforts with law enforcement to support them in their efforts to manage the event. The University will provide the most accurate and timely information available to students, faculty, staff, and the community. The University is working on developing a variety of ways to disseminate information such as emails, digital signage, text messaging, mass media, and PA announcement.

Please contact DPSS if you have additional questions or would like an officer to speak to your department, class, or group.

Response – Active Shooter

In general, how you respond to an active shooter will be dictated by the specific circumstances of the encounter. If you find yourself involved in an active shooter situation, try to remain calm, and call 911 as soon as possible.

If an active shooter is outside your building or inside the building you are in, you should:

  1. Try to remain calm
  2. Try to warn other faculty, staff, students, and visitors to take immediate shelter
  3. Proceed to a room that can be locked or barricaded
  4. Lock and barricade doors and windows
  5. Turn off lights
  6. Close blinds
  7. Block windows
  8. Turn off devices that emit sound e.g. cell phones, pagers, etc.
  9. Keep yourself out of sight and take adequate cover/protection, i.e. concrete walls, thick desks, filing cabinets
  10. Silence cell phones
  11. Have one person call 911 and provide:
    • Your name and location and state that “we have an active shooter on campus, gunshots fired.”
    • If you were able to see the offender(s), give a description of the person(s) sex, skin color, distinguishing features, clothing, type of weapon(s), location last seen, direction of travel, and identity – if known
    • If you observed any victims, give a description of the location and number of victims
    • If you observed any suspicious devices (improvised explosive devices), provide the location seen and a description
    • If you heard any explosions, provide a description and location.
  12. Wait patiently until a uniformed police officer provides an “all clear.”
  13. Unfamiliar voices may be an active shooter trying to lure you from safety; do not respond to voice commands until you can verify with certainty that they are being issued by a police officer.
  14. Attempts to rescue people should only be attempted if rescue can be accomplished without further endangering the persons inside a secured area
  15. Depending on circumstances, consideration also may be given to exiting ground floor windows as safely and quietly as possible