Armed Aggressor

What to Do

Important information is included below on how to respond/react during this type of event. A helpful guide is available for download as well.

Run: Listen to your surroundings - can you safely escape? Observe your surroundings (sights and sounds) so you can accurately report what's happening.

  • Run away from the situation using structures for cover and/or concealment.
  • Get to a safe location and call 713-348-6000 or 911. Describe the aggressor, location, and weapon details to the dispatcher.
  • Warn others from entering an area where an armed aggressor may be. Help others escape, if possible, but evacuate regardless of whether others agree to follow.
  • If you encounter law enforcement arriving on the scene, keep hands visible and empty. Know that law enforcement's first priority is to end the incident and that they may have to pass by injured along the way.

Hide: If escape is not possible - is there a safe place to barricade?

  • Get out of the shooter's view and stay very quiet.
  • Lock and barricade door if possible, close blinds, cover windows, and hide. Stay low. Gather near doorway but not in the line of sight upon opening.
  • Hide behind large items (cabinets, desks, etc.).
  • Silence all electronic devices and make sure they won't vibrate.
  • Communicate with police/emergency personnel silently. Use text messages or social media to tag your location. Put a sign in the window if possible.
  • Remain in place and stay hidden until you have determined that it is safe. If someone approaches the door and identifies themselves as a law enforcement officer, do not be tricked into talking back. Remain silent until you are able to confirm the authenticity of the claim.

Fight: How can you distract and/or incapacitate the aggressor? Can you work together as a group?

  • Disrupt and/or incapacitate the armed aggressor by acting as aggressively as possible against him/her.
  • Use makeshift weapons and/or throw items like fire extinguishers, chairs, tables, trash cans, books, etc to distract or overwhelm the aggressor.
  • Be prepared to cause severe or lethal injury to the shooter.

How to Prepare

How to Recover

  • Follow all law enforcement instructions. Evacuate in the direction they come from, unless otherwise instructed.
  • Take care of yourself first, then help the wounded before first responders arrive.
  • If the injured are in immediate danger, help get them to safety.
  • Provide first aid to the injured. Apply direct pressure to wounded areas. Turn unconscious people onto their sides and keep them warm.
  • Consider seeking professional counseling to cope with the long-term effects of trauma. Rice University's Wellbeing & Counseling Center provides wellbeing and mental health counseling for all Rice students. Counseling services for faculty/staff are available through Human Resources' Employee Assistance Program.