Campus Safety & Security Department

Active Shooter Information

Read the Homeland Security document, "How to Respond" Document
View the Ready Houston video, "Run, Hide, Fight"
View the Center for Personal Protection and Safety video, "Shots Fired"

Active Shooter Policy

An active shooter is defined as an armed person who has used deadly physical force on other persons and continues to do so while having unrestricted access to additional victims.

If you are involved in a situation where someone has entered the law school and started shooting, the following is a list of actions that can be taken. Please note that an active shooter is very unpredictable. The below guidelines are merely recommendations that are based on past encounters of this kind. You may have to alter some of these suggestions, depending on the given situation.

  1. Exit the building immediately.
  2. On your way out of the building, inform anyone along your path to exit the building.
  3. Inform John Marshall Security.
  4. DO NOT gather near the buildings, but walk to a location out of the shooter’s range.
  5. Call the police and be prepared to give them the following information to the best of your ability:
    • Your name
    • Location of the incident (address, organization, floor, etc.)
    • Number of shooters
    • Identification of shooters (name, description, gender, weapon type)
    • Building population
    • Your present location
    • Number of victims

If you are directly involved in the incident and exiting the building is not possible, the following actions are recommended:

If an active shooter enters your office or classroom, try to remain calm. Dial 911, if possible, and alert police to the shooter’s location. If you can’t speak, leave the line open so the dispatcher can listen to what’s taking place. Normally the location of a 911 call can be determined without speaking. If there is absolutely no opportunity for escape or hiding, it might be possible to negotiate with the shooter. However, attempting to overpower the shooter with force should be considered a very last resort; after all other options have been exhausted. If the shooter leaves the area, proceed immediately to a safer place and do not touch anything that was in the vicinity of the shooter.

No matter what the circumstances, 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; 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.

Police Response

Police are trained to respond to an active shooting incident by entering the building as soon as possible, and proceeding to the area of the shooter(s). They will move quickly and directly. Early on in an incident, they may not be able to rescue people, because their main goal is to get to the shooter(s) and disarm them. Try to remain calm and patient during this time, so as not to interfere with police operations. Normally, a rescue team is formed shortly after the first responding officers enter the building. They will be the Officers who will search for injured parties and get everyone safely out of the building.