Active Shooter Situation Preparation

The mass shooting at Pittsburgh’s Tree of Life Synagogue serves as a grim reminder that we must all take responsibility for our safety. Given the ongoing active shooter incidents across the country, we thought it was important to provide ISRI members with a common sense approach to address an Active Shooter situation.

ISRI Director of Law Enforcement Outreach Brady Mills had a 28-year career within the U.S. Secret Service prior to joining ISRI and offers the following guidance. If you have any questions, please contact Brady Mills at (202) 662-8526.

Law enforcement does an excellent job responding to active shooter incidents, but…first responders are just that, first responders. Meaning, the incident is already taking place or has taken place. Whether at places of worship, business, movies, or local restaurants, we must all be aware of our surroundings and give thought to what we might do in case of such an emergency. 

The Department of Homeland Security suggests one of three responses; run, hide and, if all else fails, fight. 

Run – Plan ahead. Know where the exit is. Better yet, identify two ways out. Leave everything behind and move, warning others along the way.

Hide – If unable to run, find a place to hide. Lock the door and barricade if possible. Protect yourself behind heavy items such as file cabinets.

Fight – Look for anything that can be used as a weapon; scissors, fire extinguishers, furniture, objects that can be thrown, etc. Look for an opportunity; weapon malfunction or reloading.   

It is also important to understand the role of law enforcement in these cases. It is the responsibility of first responders to neutralize the shooter(s), not care for victims. If injured, you may have to treat yourself. Also, keep in mind that everyone is a suspect until proven otherwise.  Obey any and all law enforcement commands. 

Below are links to provide further detailed information.  Remember, plan ahead.


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