Active Shooter Situation

How to respond to an active shooter situation


  • Have a primary and a ­secondary escape route in mind.
  • Leave your belongings ­behind.
  • Evacuate the area, even if others don’t agree to follow.
  • Help others escape if you can do so safely.
  • Prevent others from ­entering the area.
  • Keep your hands visible.
  • Call for help when you are safe, and describe the shooter, location, and weapons.


  • Hide in an area out of the active shooter’s view.
  • Try to pick an area that gives you other options of escape, such as a window or second door.
  • Lock the door or block entry to your hiding place.
  • Silence your cell phone (including vibrate mode) and remain quiet.
  • Stay in place until law enforcement gives you the all clear.


  • Fight as a last resort, and only when your life is in imminent danger.
  • Attempt to incapacitate the shooter
  • Act with as much physical aggression as possible.
  • Improvise weapons, or throw items at the active shooter.
  • If you are able to remove the weapon, secure it and separate yourself from it.
  • Commit to your actions—your life depends on it.

Information you should provide to LUPD or 911 operator

  • Location of active shooter and victims
  • Number of shooters and physical description of shooter(s)
  • Number of and type of weapon being used
  • Number of potential victims in location

What to do when help arrives

  • Remain calm and follow officer’s instructions.
  • Immediately raise hands and spread fingers.
  • Keep hands visible at all times.
  • Avoid making quick movements toward officers, or holding onto them for safety.
  • Avoid pointing, screaming or yelling.
  • Do not stop to ask officers for help or directions when evacuating—just proceed in the direction from which officers are entering premises
  • Take care of yourself first, and then you may be able to help the wounded until first responders take over.

Please Note: The first officers to arrive on the scene will not stop to help the injured.

Expect rescue teams to follow initial officers. These rescue teams will treat and remove the injured.

Once you have reached a safe location, you will likely be held in that area by law enforcement until the situation is under control, and all witnesses have been identified and questioned. Do not leave the area until law enforcement authorities have instructed you to do so.

Emergency Numbers

  • Lehigh University Police Department: 610-758-4200 (x84200 from campus phone)
  • Emergency Line: 911
  • Bethlehem Police Department: 610-865-7187
  • St. Luke’s Hospital: 484-526-4000