The VCU Police Department works hard to keep our community safe from all types of threats, including active shooters. Our officers are well trained and well equipped to handle active shooter incidents, but just like any other type of emergency, you should know how to keep yourself safe until help arrives to stop the threat.
Lock and barricade doors if possible. If you are in a room that cannot be secured or feels unsafe, consider seeking refuge in another nearby room that is more secure. Turn off lights and silence electronic devices, hide out of sight and away from doors and interior windows. Do not let anyone enter the room once it has been secured. Wait quietly until you receive further instructions from VCU Alert.
While VCU Police are well trained, equipped, and capable of stopping threats to the VCU community, it is important to remember that safety is everyone’s responsibility. During an active shooter event, you must be prepared to make the important decision to either run, hide, or fight if you find yourself in immediate danger.
Run: If you can safely escape the threat without putting yourself or others at risk, do so immediately. Know multiple evacuation routes and do not move towards the threat. Leave your belongings behind and exit the area as quickly as possible.
Hide: If unable to evacuate safely, follow the lockdown procedures outlined above to stay safe until the situation is resolved. Make smart choices about where to seek refuge. Ideally you will hide in a place that is out of sight, can be secured or locked, and provides some cover or concealment from the shooter.
Fight: As a last resort, if the shooter is an immediate threat to yourself you must take physical action to protect your life and stop the threat. Act with aggression and speed, attack the shooter at close range until the threat is stopped. Consider fighting as a group and using improvised weapons such as chairs and fire extinguishers.
For more information, review the following additional resources below for steps to take should you find yourself in an active shooter event. You can also watch the short YouTube video which outlines and gives examples of the steps you can take to increase your safety should you face an event: