Skip Utility Navigation
Skip Main Navigation

Active Shooter Situations: Interacting with First Responders

Staff should be trained to understand and expect that law enforcement’s first priority must be to locate and stop the person or persons believed to be the shooter(s); all other actions are secondary. One comprehensive study found that in more than half (57 percent) of active shooter incidents where a solo officer arrived on the scene, shooting was still underway when the officer arrived. In 75 percent of those instances, that solo officer had to confront the perpetrator to end the threat. In those cases, the officer was shot one-third of the time.33

Students and staff should be trained to cooperate and not to interfere with first responders. When law enforcement arrives, students and staff must display empty hands with open palms. Law enforcement may instruct everyone to place their hands on their heads, or they may search individuals.

33J. Pete Blair with M. Hunter Martaindale, United States Active Shooter Events from 2000 to 2010: Training and Equipment Implications. San Marcos, TX: Texas State University, 2013. Available at http://alerrt.org/files/research/ActiveShooterEvents.pdf.