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 Active Shooter

Response and Guidelines for Campus Safety

Active Shooter Defined

This situation involves a barricaded suspect(s) or an outdoor movement situation where the suspect(s) is actively discharging a firearm at law enforcement or community members and/or randomly firing into an area where it is reasonably expected that persons could be struck by the suspect(s) fire. These situations leave little or no time for proper planning and normally require first-arriving law enforcement units to take immediate action to end the danger.

In the Classroom or Office

  • If you are in a classroom, room or office, STAY THERE! Secure the door.
  • If the door has no lock and the door opens in, a good heavy door wedge can be kept on hand and driven in as hard as you can; otherwise look for heavy furniture to barricade the door.
  • If the door has a window, cover it if you can.
  • Depending on the gunmen’s location, consideration may also be made to exit though window openings. Have someone watch as you get as many students out of the windows (ground floor) as calmly and as quietly as possible.
  • If no police units are yet on scene, move well away from the incident and find safe cover positions (not the parking lots) and wait for the police to arrive. 
  • If officers arrive on scene, community members should get out and move toward any police vehicle when safe to do so, while keeping their hands on top of their head. Be sure to do exactly and immediately what the police tell you to do.
  • Don’t leave the area entirely; you may have information that responding police officers will need. Once in a safe place, remain there.
  • If the windows don’t open, or you cannot break them, or you are not on a ground floor, get out of sight from the door and stay low and quiet.

In Hallways or Corridors

  • If in the hallways, get in a room that is not already secured and secure it.
  • Unless you are very close to an exit, don’t run through a long hall to get to one; you may encounter the gunmen or hostage taker.
  • Don’t hide in restrooms!

In Large Rooms or Auditoriums

  • If in a gym or theater area and the gunmen or hostage taker(s) is  not present, exit as soon as possible and move toward any police unit. Again, keep your hands on your head. Do what the police tell you!

Trapped with the Gunmen

  • If you are trapped with the gunmen, don’t do anything to provoke them. If they are not shooting, do what they say and don’t move suddenly. Only you can draw the line on what you will or will not do to preserve your life and/or the lives of others.
  • If shooting begins, you need to make a choice. At this point it is your choice: stay still and hope they don’t shoot you, run for an exit while zigzagging, or even attack the shooter. This is very dangerous, but certainly no more than doing nothing and dying in place. A moving target is much harder to hit than a stationary one and the last thing that the shooter will expect is to be attacked by an unarmed person. Any option chosen may still result in a negative consequence.
  • As a last resort, and only when your life is in imminent danger, attempt to disrupt and/or incapacitate the active shooter by: acting as aggressively as possible against him/her, throwing items and improvising weapons, yelling and committing to your actions.
  • Again, this is not a recommendation to attack the shooter but rather a choice to fight when there is only one other option.

Open Spaces

Stay alert and look for appropriate cover locations. Brick walls, large trees, retaining walls, parked vehicles and other objects that may stop firearm ammunition penetration may be utilized as cover.

Important Note!

It is recommended that you add El Camino College Police Department’s 24-hour number (310-660-3100 or ECC Compton Center 310-900-1600, ext. 2999) into your cell phone contact list. Always notify the police department as soon as it is safe to do so.

These guidelines are not all inclusive, but if understood and followed up with periodic reminders and training when feasible, it can increase your chances of surviving an active shooter incident.

ECC Campus Police "Active Shooter Response and Guidelines for Campus Safety" (PDF)

Department of Homeland Security "How to Respond When an Active Shooter is in Your Vicinity" (PDF)

 Last Published 3/18/16