Active Shooter on Campus

The following guidelines are intended to reduce your personal risk in the unlikely event that an active shooter incident should occur on campus.

If you are outside a building when an event occurs, you should take immediate cover, preferably inside a building, circumstances permitting

If you are in a building when an event occurs, you should:

Secure the Immediate Area:

  • Lock and barricade doors
  • Do not stand by doors or windows
  • Turn off lights
  • Close blinds
  • Block windows
  • Turn off radios and computer monitors
  • Keep yourself out of sight and take adequate cover/protection (i.e., concrete walls, thick desks, filing cabinets - cover may protect you from bullets)
  • Silence cell phones

Un-Securing an Area:

  • Consider risks before un-securing rooms
  • Remember, the shooter will not stop until they are engaged by an outside force
  • Attempts to rescue people should only be attempted if it can be accomplished without further endangering the persons inside a secured area.
  • Consider the safety of masses-vs-the safety of a few
  • If doubt exists for the safety of the individuals inside the room, the area should remain secured
  • Know all alternate exits in your building

Contacting Authorities:

  • Dial 4-5555 from any Morningside phone
  • Dial 5-7979 from any C.U.M.C. phone
  • Use Emergency 911
  • Email: publicsafety@columbia.edu

Be aware that the Public Safety numbers will likely be overwhelmed. Program the alternate Public Safety numbers (212-854-2797, 212-305-8100) into your cell phone for backup or consider 911 or e-mail. Remember, most cell phones provide the ability to make an emergency call, even if they have a lockout feature. E-mail may also be an option if, under the circumstances, you are unable to speak. E-mail is monitored by Public Safety personnel.

What to Report:

  • Your specific location-building name and office/room number
  • Number of people at your specific location
  • Injuries-number injured, types of injuries
  • Assailant(s)-location, number of suspects, race/gender, clothing description, physical features, type of weapons (long gun or hand gun), backpack, shooters identity if known, separate explosions from gunfire, etc.

Police Response:

  • Objective is to engage assailant(s) immediately
  • Evacuate victims
  • Facilitate follow up medical care, interviews, counseling
  • Investigation