law enforcement

What to Know in Active-Shooter Situations

In an era when "active shooter" has become standard speak, law enforcement and communities are taking steps to teach survival by hosting active-shooter classes.

Here's what the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department recommends:

  • Know your escape routes
  • Designate safe rooms
  • Talk to your co-workers about a response
  • Keep emergency supplies (first-aid kit, food, water) in every room
  • Identify ways to lock or barricade your area
  • Practice! Practice! Practice!

Here's information to provide 911 in calls:

  • Location of the shooter
  • Number of shooters
  • Physical description of shooters
  • Number and type of weapons shooter has
  • Number of potential victims at location

Here's what to do when the shooting starts:


  • Have an escape route and an action plan in mind
  • Leave your belongings behind
  • Evacuate, regardless of whether others agree to follow
  • Help others escape, if possible
  • Do not attempt to move the wounded
  • Prevent others from entering an area where the active shooter may be located Keep your hands visible
  • Call 911 when you are safe


  • Hide in an area out of the shooter's view
  • Silence your cell phone (including vibrate mode) and remain quiet and still
  • Lock doors and block entry to your hiding place (use chairs, tables, bookcases, file cabinets, etc.)
  • Shut off lights, stay out of sight and remain calm


  • If your life is in imminent danger, you may have to fight the attacker
  • Attempt to incapacitate the shooter
  • Act with as much physical aggression as possible
  • Meet violence with violence
  • Improvise weapons such as chairs, fire extinguishers, books, and anything else you can use as an impact weapon
  • Do not back down
  • Commit to your actions
  • Stand united with others
  • Your life depends on it

When the shooting stops

  • Remain calm and reassure others that help is on the way.
  • Render first aid if necessary, utilizing what you have available.
  • For bleeding control, use first-aid kits, towels, shirts, bed sheets, etc. For tourniquets, use power cords, phones cords, ropes, etc.
  • Stay inside your secured location until law enforcement comes to you
  • When law enforcement arrives, keep hands visible, spread fingers, leave all personal items behind, and calmly follow their directions
  • Understand that help may take an extended period of time due to clearing the entire location, but law enforcement will come to you.

For more information, click here.

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