When a shooter is actively threatening lives or is attempting to kill people, there is no pattern or method to their selection of victims.
These situations require immediate action by those involved to protect themselves and the law enforcement authorities to bring the shooter’s actions to a halt. Because of the variety of situations an active shooter can create, the guidelines below are designed for different scenarios.
One consistent message is to REMAIN CALM and to take appropriate action.
If the shooter is in a place where you can get out:
- Purposefully assess your surroundings. Belmont faculty and staff rarely remain in their respective buildings during the course of an entire day due to classes and meetings in other buildings. Make yourself aware of stairwells, doors, and windows that could be used to escape. Does the door to your room lock? What could be used to throw through a window to break it, if necessary?
- Move quickly.
- Leave belongings behind.
- Go where the shooter cannot see you. If outside, seek cover behind walls, large trees, parked vehicles.
- Call Campus Security ext. 6911 or (615 )460-6911. They will inform and coordinate with Metro Police. Tell them the name of the shooter (if known), shooter description, location, number and types of weapons.6. Stay hidden and silence your phone on vibrate so you will not be detected.
If the shooter is in close proximity and you cannot get away:
- Go quickly to a room that can be locked, if possible.
- Blockade the door with heavy furniture or equipment such as copy machines, refrigerators, etc.
- Turn off all lights and become totally silent
- Turn off any noise-producing devices.
- Call Campus Security at ext. 6911 or (615) 460-6911 (if you can do so without drawing the shooter’s attention to your location). They will inform and coordinate with Metro Police. Tell them the name of the shooter (if known), shooter description, location, number and types of weapons.
- Stay hidden and silence your phone on vibrate so you will not be detected. Do not huddle together in a group – spread out to make it harder for the shooter to harm numerous individuals.
- Remain in place quietly until the “all clear” is given by an authorized known voice or until the police arrive.
If the shooter enters your classroom:
- Remain calm.
- Do not do anything that will provoke the shooter.
- If there is no way to escape or hide, you may make a personal decision to overpower the shooter. This would be a last resort and would be more likely if there are two or more of you in the room. Possible actions include throwing books, garbage cans, backpacks, or other accessible items to distract the shooter while one or more of you attempts to overpower him.
How to behave when the police arrive:
- The primary job of the police is to find and apprehend the shooter.
- The police do not know if you are one of the shooters. You must show that you don’t present a threat to them. Do not scream or yell. Be quiet and compliant. Raise your arms, spread your fingers, clearly show your hands as you drop to the floor and spread your arms and legs.
- Remain in place quietly until the “all clear” is given by the police or an authorized known voice.
All students, faculty and staff are also encouraged to participate in the “Responding to Campus Violence” training sessions that are offered by Human Resources and Campus Security. The DVD "Shots Fired on Campus" is shown, and various campus representatives speak to offer insights on how to respond in such an emergency.
The sessions are designed for individuals to learn to take direct responsibility for their personal safety and security. Participants will learn and discuss how, with the proper mindset and the necessary tools, to be better equipped to react with purpose to maximize chances of survival if involved in an active shooter situation.