If an individual comes to campus with the intention to injure people or flee from the police, you must take immediate action to protect yourself. The only warning you may have is the sound of gunfire, scuffling, or other employees yelling a warning. You must take immediate action. Move quickly; don’t wait for others to validate your decision.
If the shooter is in your building
- If you are close to an exterior door, evacuate the building. Once outside, move away from the building and find a suitable shelter location (i.e., inside another building). Stay out of sight.
- Seek protection in an area that can be locked from the inside. A room without windows would be the best choice. Turn off the lights. Hide inside that area behind a desk, under a table, or in a closet or bathroom. The more heavy furniture and doors between you and the gunman will increase your margin of safety. Remain still and quiet until the police come to your assistance.
- If a phone is immediately available in the area you are using for protection, and if it is safe to do so, call 911 (always identify yourself as an NKU employee or student). If it is safe to do so, stay on the phone with the police dispatcher until they hang up.
If the shooter is outside or in another building
- If outside, immediately seek shelter inside a building or underneath an object.
- If warning specifies which building the perpetrator has entered, immediately go into any other building that is close to you.
- Move away from outside doors and windows.
- Stay inside that building until the police issue an “all clear” message via NKU Alert System.
If the shooter is in the same room as you
If you are unable to get into a secured area and the gunman approaches you, your actions will depend solely on your judgment and capability. No strategy is 100 percent effective. Your options include
- Escape by running from the area.
- You can hide.
- Play dead, if other victims are around you.
- Your last option may be to fight back. This is dangerous, but depending on your situation, this could be your last option.
Moving from current location
- If you decide to flee during an active shooting situation, Make sure you have an escape route and plan in mind.
- Do not attempt to carry anything while fleeing and leave coats and jackets behind so the police can easily see you aren't armed.
- Move quickly, keep your hands visible, and follow the instructions of any police officers you may encounter.
- Do not attempt to remove injured people; instead, leave wounded victims where they are and notify authorities of their location as soon as possible.
- Do not try to drive off campus until advised it is safe to do so by police or campus administrators.
What to expect from responding police officers
Police officers responding to an active shooter are trained to proceed immediately to the area in which shots were last heard; their purpose is to stop the shooting as quickly as possible. The first responding officers will normally be in teams of four (4); they may be dressed in regular patrol uniforms, or they may be wearing external bulletproof vests, Kevlar helmets, and other tactical equipment. The officers may be armed with rifles, shotguns, or handguns, and might also be using pepper spray or tear gas to control the situation. Regardless of how they appear, remain calm, do as the officers tell you, and do not be afraid of them. Put down any bags or packages you may be carrying and keep your hands visible at all times; if you know where the shooter is, tell the officers. The first officers to arrive will not stop to aid injured people; rescue teams composed of other officers and emergency medical personnel will follow the first officers into secured areas to treat and remove injured persons. Keep in mind that even once you have escaped to a safer location, the entire area is still a crime scene; police will usually not let anyone leave until the situation is fully under control and all witnesses have been identified and questioned. Until you are released, remain at whatever assembly point authorities designate.