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The University of Alabama

Focus on Safety: In Case of an Armed Individual on Campus

If there is an armed individual on campus, the University Police Department is trained to deal with this incident and will respond immediately upon notification. Immediately move to a safe location. Then call UAPD at 205-348-5454 as quickly as you can. Stay calm, and provide information about your location, the suspect and any injuries. Stay on the phone until the dispatcher tells you to hang up. Alert others, if you can do so safely. Stay in a safe place until you are notified that the emergency is over.

Give the dispatcher the following information:

  • Building/site name and location.
  • Your name and phone number.
  • Exact location and number of shooters.
  • Description of shooter, type of weapon, number of hostages, if any.

Number and location of injured persons.


If there is an accessible escape path, attempt to leave the premises. Be sure to:

  • Have an escape route and plan in mind.
  • Evacuate regardless of whether others agree to follow.
  • Leave your belongings behind.
  • Help others escape, if possible.
  • Prevent individuals from entering an area where the active shooter may be.
  • Keep your hands visible.
  • Follow the instructions of any police officer.
  • Do not attempt to move wounded people.
  • Call 911 or 205-348-5454 (UAPD) when you are safe.


If evacuation is not possible, find a place to hide where the active shooter is less likely to find you.

Your hiding place should:

  • Be out of the active shooter’s view.
  • Provide protection if shots are fired in your direction (i.e., an office with a closed and locked door).
  • Do not trap yourself or restrict your options for movement.

To prevent an active shooter from entering your hiding place:

  • Lock the door.
  • Blockade the door with heavy furniture.

If the active shooter is nearby:

  • Lock the door.
  • Silence your cell phone and/or pager.
  • Turn off any source of noise (i.e., radios, televisions).
  • Hide behind large items (i.e., cabinets, desks).
  • Remain quiet.

If evacuation and hiding out are not possible:

  • Remain calm.
  • Dial 911 or 205-348-5454 (UAPD) if possible to alert police of the active shooter’s location.
  • If you cannot speak, leave the line open and allow the dispatcher to listen.

As a last resort, take action against the shooter by:

  • Acting as aggressively as possible against him/her.
  • Throwing items and improvising weapons.
  • Yelling.
  • Committing to your actions.

When the police arrive, they may not know who the shooter(s) are. Since perpetrators have been known to hide in the crowd, it is important to obey all law enforcement commands. Officers may order everyone to raise their hands or even place handcuffs on them. This is done for safety reasons to prevent further injury and possible escape by the perpetrator(s).