Active Shooter/Armed Individual

What to Do in an Active Shooter Situation: RUN, HIDE, FIGHT

When an active shooter is in your vicinity, quickly determine the most reasonable way to protect your own life. Students, employees and visitors are likely to follow the directions of instructors, supervisors and administrators during an active shooter situation. (Download a poster with steps to follow in case of an armed individual.)


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Run icon


Your first option when confronted with an active shooter is to run.

If you hear gunshots and have a clear exit in the opposite direction, evacuating away from the sounds may be the best option.

Leave your belongings behind (take keys and phones only if it doesn’t delay your escape).

Keep your hands visible.

Evacuate to a safe location.

Do not pull the fire alarm.

Hide icon


Your second option is to hide.

Find a room to hide in and do whatever you can to make the room seem empty.

Lock the door, close the blinds, turn off the lights, stay away from the windows, and barricade the doors.

Remind everyone to stay quiet.

Remember to silence any phones or devices.

Fight icon


Fighting is a last resort only when your life is in danger.

When your life is in imminent danger, you must be mentally prepared to fight aggressively.

Create a plan, remain quiet, locate weapons (such as a chair, water bottle, or backpack), and position yourself.

Attempt to incapacitate the active shooter.

Call 9-1-1 when it is safe to do so

Information You Should Provide to the 9-1-1 Operator

  • Clarify if you are on the University of Arizona campus
  • Location of the active shooter
  • Number of shooters, if more than one
  • Physical description of shooter(s)
  • Number and type of weapons held by the shooter(s)
  • Number of potential victims at the location

How to Respond When Law Enforcement Arrives

  • Remain calm and follow officers’ instructions.
  • Immediately raise hands and keep hands visible at all times.
  • Avoid making quick movements toward officers or holding onto them for safety.
  • Evacuate in the direction where the officers instruct you to go.
  • If you are hiding, it’s important to stay in place until officers give you further instruction.

Recognizing signs of potential workplace violence

An active shooter may be a current or former employee or student. If you believe an employee/student is an immediate threat or exhibits potentially violent behavior, call Human Resources at 520-621-3662 if the individual is an employee. Call the Dean of Student office at 520-621-7057 if the individual is a student. If the individual is not affiliated with the University, call 911.

Indications of potentially violent behavior may include:

  • Increased use of alcohol and/or drugs
  • Unexplained increase in absenteeism and/or vague physical complaints
  • Depression/withdrawal
  • Increased severe mood swings and noticeably unstable or emotional responses
  • Increasing mentions of problems at home, school or work
  • Increase in unsolicited comments about violence, firearms and other dangerous weapons and violent crime


Subject matter expert: UAPD – Updated: April 2023