Active Shooter / Hostile Intruder

In the event of an active shooter or hostile intruder, instructions are to go to the nearest room and lock or barricade the door.  Silence all noise devices, such as radios, computer speakers, and cell phones and remain quiet. Notify authorities as soon as possible and follow instructions from authorities.

Attempts should be made to protect the safety of any affected persons, without bringing harm to oneself.

A hostile intruder situation can change rapidly. In addition to being aware of your surroundings and escape routes, thinking about how you will react to a hostile intruder situation in advance will help you act quickly and efficiently.

Thinking through scenarios in your head can help you respond faster. Take time to understand your surroundings and environment, then make a plan.  

During an event, there are three choices an individual can make:  Run.  Hide.  Fight. 


If possible, run to an exit and get to a safe location - this is your first option. If a safe exit is available, take it immediately and encourage others to come with you, but do not let them slow you down.


If a safe escape is not possible, hide until help arrives or safe exit is available. Close, lock, or barricade doors and windows, turn off lights, hide behind something thick, and silence cell phones. Your goal is not only to stay out of sight, but to prevent the shooter from reaching or hearing you. Barricades also distract the shooter, allowing more time for you and responders. Do not answer the door or respond to voice commands until you sure they are coming from police or other legitimate responders.


As a last resort, and only if your life is in danger, you may choose to fight. Be aggressive, use improvised weapons (fire extinguishers, scissors, hot coffee, glass items, or anything else available), and commit to your actions. Fight as a group if possible. This action also distracts the shooter and allows time and opportunity for police to act.

This video, developed by the City of Houston, describes optional life saving reactions to an active shooter. The video has been edited for sensitivity purposes.

College Administration, Carilion Police, and local law enforcement will immediately assess the situation to determine appropriate actions.

After the incident, a thorough investigation will be conducted by the appropriate personnel and law enforcement.