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Personal Safety Tips for an Active Shooter Scenario

OVERVIEW

“Active shooter” is the term used to describe a person who appears to be actively engaged in killing or attempting to kill people in a populated area; in most cases, active shooters use firearm(s) and there is no pattern or method to their selection of victims. Active shooter situations are unpredictable and evolve quickly. 

Because active shooter situations are often over within 10 to 15 minutes – and before law enforcement arrives – everyone at the Law School must be prepared both mentally and physically to deal with an active shooter situation. This document provides members of the LLS community with prevention, personal safety and preparedness tips for active shooter situations.

Early detection of individuals demonstrating odd or threatening behavior may be the best method for reducing the likelihood of active shooter events. If you notice odd or threatening behavior in any individual on campus, report it to Security Office at 213-736-1121 (or x1121 from a campus phone). 

LLS has exceptional resources to assist students, faculty and staff:

  • For students: Student Psychological Services (SPS) at 213-736-1122 (x1122)
  • For faculty and staff: Employee Assistance Program (open 24 hours/7 days a week) at 800-367-7474 

PERSONAL SAFETY TIPS

If an active shooter is in your immediate presence... 

  • Remain calm. Your urge may be to panic. This is completely natural, but if you can resist the temptation and shift to a survival mentality, your chances of survival will increase.
  • Assess the situation and begin to make decisions based on your personal choices.
  • If it is safe to do so -- and only once you have identified an escape route – evacuate the building or area. Leave your belongings, and try to avoid touching anything that may be used as evidence. Seek shelter in a secure location (preferably a room with a door).
  • If you are unable to find a secure location and/or safely evacuate, conceal yourself by hiding behind solid objects (e.g. car, trash can, tree, wall, furniture, etc.) or shield yourself by moving as many items between you and the active shooter. 
  • Wherever you are, crouch down and spread out so that individuals present a smaller target to the active shooter.
  • When safe, help those with disabilities and others who may need assistance.
  • Remain secure until directed by a police officer, a Law School Official, or LLS Alert.  When sheltering in place, do not open the door for anyone other than a police officer or a LLS Official. Do not respond to any voice commands until you can verify with certainty that they are being issued by a police officer or a LLS Official. Be sure to ask for identification.
  • As a last resort once all other options have been exhausted and only when your life is in imminent danger, you may choose to incapacitate the shooter. Act with physical aggression and throw items at the active shooter.
  • As soon as it is safe, call 9-1-1 (or 9-9-1-1 from a campus phone), contact Security from an  yellow emergency call boxes located on campus or call boxes in the parking garage a blue light is affixed to the boxes in the garage. or call Security at 213-736-1121 (or x1121 from a campus phone).  If it becomes unsafe to talk, leave the line open so the dispatcher can listen.
  • Remain calm.
  • If you are inside a room, office, or other enclosed space or able to safely seek shelter in an enclosed space, close all windows and doors and lock them if possible and safe to do so.  Especially if you are in a room where the door opens into the hallway and/or you are unable to lock the door, create obstacles that may block entry into the room by placing items (e.g. desks, chairs, cabinets, book shelves, etc.) between you and the doors and windows. If applicable, close blinds or curtains, and move away from the doors and windows. 
  • If you are in an open area or if you are outside and are unable to safely seek shelter in a secure location, conceal yourself by hiding behind solid objects (e.g. car, trash can, tree, wall, furniture, etc.).
  • Wherever you are, crouch down and spread out so that individuals present a smaller target to the active shooter.
  • When safe, help those with disabilities and others who may need assistance.
  • If you are indoors and it’s safe to move about, turn off the lights, and eliminate all noise (e.g. silence cell phones, turn off televisions and music), and remain quiet to give the impression that the space is vacant.
  • As soon as it is safe, call 9-1-1 (or 9-9-1-1 from a campus phone), contact Security from an emergency yellow phone or call 213-736-1121 (or ex 1121 from a campus phone).  If it becomes unsafe to talk, leave the line open so the dispatcher can listen to what is taking place.
  • When sheltering in place, do not open the door for anyone other than a police officer or LLS official.  Remain in your shelter location and do not open the door for anyone until directed by a police officer or LLS Official or you receive a message from LLS Alert indicating that it is safe to do so.  Do not respond to any voice commands until you can verify with certainty that they are being issued by a police officer or LLS Official. Be sure to ask for identification.