Guidelines for Active Shooter Situation


An active shooter is a person actively engaged in killing or attempting to kill people. They typically act in populated areas and display no pattern or method for selection of their victims. 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 further harm to the community. 


If you find yourself involved in an active shooter situation, you will be required to rely on your judgment and intuition. Try to remain calm and call 911 as soon as possible.

You generally have three options:


Can you safely escape? Always be aware of your surroundings, make note of the nearest exit, and have an escape route in mind. If there is an escape route, take your cell phone if handy but leave all other possessions and run for safety. Call 911 when it is safe to do so.


Is there a place to hide? If you are in a classroom or office, lock the door and block it with heavy furniture, close the blinds, and take cover behind large items. If you are in a hallway, take cover in a room and barricade yourself inside. Turn cell phones to vibrate and remain quiet. Make a plan with others in the room in the room about what you will do if the shooter enters. Call 911 when possible. Be persistent because call volume might be heavy.


Is your life in imminent danger? As a last resort, you might choose to try and disrupt or incapacitate an active shooter by fighting back. Work as a team if possible, fully commit to your actions, and do whatever is necessary to survive the situation. 

If outside when a shooting occurs

  • Drop to the ground immediately, face down as flat as possible. If within 15-20 feet of a safe place or cover, duck and run to it.
  • Move or crawl away from gunfire, trying to utilize any obstructions between you and the gunfire. Remember that many objects of cover may conceal you from sight, but may not be bulletproof.
  • When you reach a place of relative safety, stay down and do not move. Do not peek or raise your head in an effort to see what may be happening.
  • Wait and listen for directions from Public Safety and/law enforcement personnel.

Calling for help

Only call for help when it is safe to do so. Do not assume that someone else has reported the incident.

  • Call 911 first, then call the campus Security and Safety at 425.352.5222.
  • Be persistent because phones may be jammed.
  • Be ready to identify yourself and your exact location. Remain calm and answer the dispatcher’s questions. The dispatcher is trained to obtain the necessary and required information for an appropriate emergency response.

When law enforcement arrives

The priority of the first responders will be to identify the shooter. Law enforcement will need to ensure that you are not the shooter.

  • Do not run at them or make sudden movements.
  • Do not scream, yell, point, or wave your arms.
  • Do not hold anything in your hands that could be mistaken for a weapon. Show the officers your empty hands and follow their instructions.
  • When it is safe to do so, you will be given instructions as to how to safely exit your location.

For additional information please watch this short video and refer to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security