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Active Shooter

​​The Department of Homeland Security defines an active shooter as “an individual actively engaged in killing or attempting to kill people in a confined and populated area; in most cases, active shooters use firearm(s) and there is no pattern or method to their selection of victims.” 

These incidents happen quickly and are usually over within 10 to 15 minutes. Everyone must be prepared to react quickly to an active shooter situation. ​

What to do 

  • Deny (Run) – Pay attention to your surroundings. Have an exit plan. Move away from the source of the threat as quickly as possible. The more distance and barriers between you and the threat, the better. Call 911 or UHD Police at 713-221-8911. 

  • Avoid (Hide)– If you can’t safely evacuate your building or are unsure of the location of the threat, secure in a room, classroom or office, create barriers to prevent or slow down a threat from getting to you. Turn the lights off. Remain out of sight and quiet by hiding behind large objects and silencing your phone.  

  • Defend (Fight)– If there are no other options to safely escape, and you are confronted by the assailant/intruder, attempt to disrupt or and/or incapacitate the assailant/intruder using all available resources (acting aggressively, yelling, throwing items, improvising weapons). Be aggressive and committed to your actions. Do not fight fairly; this is about survival. 

  •  Deny, Avoid, Defend Video ​


What you Should Expect 

  • Responding police officers are trained to proceed immediately to the area where the shots were last heard; their purpose is to stop the shooting as quickly as possible. 

  • The first officers to arrive will not stop to aid injured victims. Rescue teams composed of additional officers will follow the first team into secured areas and remove injured persons. ​

  • The first officers on the scene will likely be from the University. Depending on the situation, they may be joined by officers from different agencies and dressed in different uniforms.  There may even be some officers in civilian clothes wearing external bulletproof vests. Some officers may be wearing and/or armed with special tactical equipment.  

  • When Police arrive, follow their commands and show your hands  

  • Note: Every situation is unique.  Your primary responsibility is to protect your life and stay safe!