Active Shooter/Armed Threats

Campus Response

In the event of an active shooter on or near campus, SPU will go into lockdown and work with law enforcement authorities to address the threat.

If the Office of Safety and Security (OSS) is notified of a person armed with a weapon on or near campus that is not an active shooter, SPU may still go into lockdown and/or notify law enforcement authorities as a precaution, depending on the situation.

  • In a lockdown, SPU building entrances will be locked and campus activities and events will be suspended until further notice.
  • SPU-Alert will be used to notify the campus about the start and end of a campus lockdown.

How to respond to an active shooter or other armed threat

General guidance:

  • If you observe or have information about an actual or potential armed threat on campus, notify OSS by calling 206-281-2911 or pressing the call button on a campus emergency phone.
  • Follow instructions issued through SPU-Alert.
  • Cooperate with law enforcement officials, and take precautions so that you are not mistaken for a threat. For example, if police approach you in a secured room, stand still, keep your hands open and visible, and follow their instructions.

What to do if you are inside a building during a campus lockdown:

  • Move to a safe and securable area (e.g., an office, classroom, or residence hall room) and lock the doors.
  • Close the window coverings, move away from the windows, and get low on the floor.
  • Remain in your secure area and await further instruction via SPU-Alert.

What to do if you are outside during a campus lockdown:

  • Leave the area and seek safe shelter off campus.
  • Await further instruction via SPU-Alert.

What to do if you are directly confronted with an active shooter:

  • If you are directly confronted with an active shooter, SPU recommends following the Run-Hide-Fight guidance issued by the Department of Homeland Security.
    • Run: If there is an accessible escape path, attempt to evacuate the premises.
    • Hide: If evacuation is not possible, find a place to hide where the active shooter is less likely to find you.
    • Fight: As a last resort, and only when your life is in imminent danger, attempt to incapacitate the active shooter.

What NOT to do:

  • Do not assume that someone else has already notified OSS and/or 911.
  • Do not leave a secured area during an emergency to see what is happening.
  • Do not allow another person into a secured area during an emergency unless told to do so by law enforcement authorities or SPU officials.

What to do after an active shooter or armed threat incident:

  • Contact your friends and family to let them know you are OK.
  • Contact OSS if you were a witness or have other information to share about the incident.
  • Contact the Student Counseling Center (for students) or the Office of Human Resources (for employees) if you are in the need of counseling.

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