News & Events

Date and Time of Release: 4 January 2013

Subject: Information on Active Shooter Incidents

In the aftermath of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting in Newtown Connecticut, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security has provided information for awareness of Active Shooter Incidents to the public, should they become involved in an Active Shooter situation.

Over the next few weeks, the Sonora Police Department will release a series of four (4) articles covering the above described information from Homeland Security. We hope you find these articles useful and informative.

Please note these are individual measures and should not be used if in conflict with established protocols trained to you at your workplace.

Profile of an Active Shooter

An Active Shooter is an individual actively engaging in killing or attempting to kill people in a confined and populated area; in most cases there is no pattern or method to their selection of victims.

Active Shooter situations are unpredictable and evolve extremely quickly. They can occur at almost any location (i.e. Schools, malls, businesses, office buildings, restaurants, ext…) Typically, the immediate deployment of Law Enforcement is required to stop the shooting and mitigate harm to victims.

Because Active Shooter incidents are often over within 5-15 minutes, before Law Enforcement arrives on scene, individuals must be prepared both mentally and physically to deal with an active shooter situation.

Good practices for coping with an Active Shooter situation

1) Be aware of your environment and any possible dangers. Situational awareness and perceived threats is important in any day to day activity.

2) Take note of the nearest exits in any facility you visit. This is beneficial to you for any type of emergency situation (i.e. Active Shooter, fire, earthquake, violent storms, ext…)

3) If in an office or enclosed area, try to close and secure the door if something should happen. This is often referred to as sheltering in place.

4) If in a hallway, find a room and secure the door behind you, then stand away from the door incase the shooter shoots through the door.

5) Last resort measures should be attempting to engage the shooter and incapacitating them. This might require you to use any measures you can think of and utilizing any weapons you can find or items that you can use as a weapon (i.e. chairs, fire extinguishers, file cabinet drawers, cleaning products, ext…) If you do engage the shooter, you should continue to engage them until they are no longer a threat or they are incapacitated.

6) Always be aware of the potential of multiple shooters.

7) Call 911 at the safest time available.

Next time we will look at evacuating, hiding out and taking action against the active shooter, a little more in depth.