Avoid (Run)

In an active shooter situation, the NYPD advises that you:

  • Evacuate the building immediately if you can do so safely.
  • Do NOT carry any personal belongings with you.
  • Avoid elevators and escalators if possible.
  • If you are in a high-rise building and the shooter is below you, go the opposite direction — up as many floors as possible. Once you reach a safe area, move away from the entrance to a more secure location. If the shooter is above you, walk down and out of the building.
  • When evacuating in the stairwell, stay pressed toward the wall so responders can come up the stairs quickly and safely.

Barricade (Hide)

  • If you can do so safely, move to a central, secure area of the building.
  • Locate an area with big objects to hide behind — like soda machines or copy machines — that can provide cover and stop or slow bullets. Just hiding behind something smaller — like a chair — won’t be as secure.
  • Block the door with large, heavy objects to make entry as difficult as possible. You can use desks, tables, file cabinets, furniture, books, etc.
  • If no such objects are available, try to stay below waist level to avoid any shots fired through the door.

Confront (Fight)

There is no single action that can be recommended in this situation. The attacker is likely to continue to shoot victims until they are stopped. Here are a few things you can do:

  • If hiding or running is impossible, remain quiet. Silence your phone.
  • If you come face to face with the shooter, you can do two things:
    • Do whatever it takes to quickly overpower them with force.
    • If you are with other people, work as a group to overcome the shooter.