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MSU Home :: Active Shooter

Active Shooter

It’s important to understand that any action taken or not taken during an active shooter incident may involve life-threatening risk.  

Law enforcement recommends that if you hear popping noises that you think may be gunshots, not to waste time trying to validate your own perception. We recommend you act on the chance that there may be gunshots and evacuate immediately (if it can be done safely) through the nearest door or window. It’s far better to err on the side of caution.  

Figure Out

  • How are you going to survive?
  • Will you get out? 
  • Is there a path of escape? 
  • Will you hide out? 
  • Is there a chance to get to where the shooter may not find you? 
  • Is your only option to take out the shooter?  

Get Out

  • Move quickly; don’t wait for others to validate your decision 
  • Leave belongings behind 
  • Survival chances increase if not where shooter is or to go where he can’t see you 

Call Out

  • Inform authorities 
  • Call 9-1-1 and tell them name of shooter (if known), shooter description, location, number and type of weapons 

Hide Out

  • May not be able to get out 
  • Shooter between you and the only exit 
  • Would have to enter area where shooter is positioned 
  • Hiding place 
  • Well hidden and well protected 
  • Avoid places that might trap you or restrict movement 

Keep Out

  • Find a room that can be locked with objects to hide behind 
  • Blockade door with heavy furniture 
  • Turn out lights; become totally silent 
  • Turn off noise-producing devices
  • Call 9-1-1  (If you can do so without alerting the shooter) 

Spread Out

  • If two or more of you, DO NOT huddle together 
  • Gives you options and makes it harder for the shooter 
  • Quietly develop a plan of action in the event the shooter enters 
  • Remain calm 
  • Can have a contagious effect on others 
  • Keeps others focused on survival 

Take Out

  • Assume shooter’s intentions are lethal 
  • Shooter will succeed in killing all those with whom he comes in contact, UNLESS you stop him 
  • Develop a survival mindset that you have “what it takes” to survive when your life is on the line 
  • You must be prepared to do whatever it takes to neutralize the threat 
  • Throw things, yell, use improvised weapons 
  • If two or more of you, make a plan to overcome the shooter 
  • Do the best that you can—choose to survive 

[View an Active Shooter training video, from the Dept. of Homeland Security]


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  • Emergency: 911
  • MSU Police Dept: 783-2035
  • Kentucky State Police: 784-4127
  • City Police: 784-7511
  • Sheriff: 784-5446
  • Hospital: 783-6500
  • Domestic Violence Shelter: 784-6880

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    Homeland Security Threat Level - Elevated

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