Being Prepared for an Armed Intruder

A situation with an armed intruder is unlikely. However, like any type of emergency, being prepared is essential. An armed intruder is defined as a person actively threatening lives in a populated area and may be an active shooter with a firearm or another type of weapon, such as a knife. Victims are usually random, and law enforcement is generally required to end the situation.

These situations are unpredictable, evolve very rapidly and require a quick response. Each situation is unique, so that response will be determined by the specific circumstances at the time of the event. If you find yourself faced with an armed intruder situation, try to remain calm and use these general guidelines to help make the best plan possible.

Call 9-1-1 when it is safe to do so.

Coping with an active shooter situation

  • Be aware of your environment and any possible dangers
  • Take note of the two nearest exits in any facility you visit
  • If you are in an office, stay there and secure the door
  • Attempt to take the active shooter down as a last resort

How to respond when an active shooter is in your vicinity

1. RUN
  • Have an escape route and plan in mind
  • Leave your belongings behind
  • Keep your hands visible
  • Hide in an area out of the shooter’s view
  • Block entry to your hiding place and lock the doors
  • Silence your cell phone and/or pager
  • As a last resort and only when your life is in imminent danger
  • Attempt to incapacitate the shooter
  • Act with physical aggression and throw items at the active shooter

How to respond when law enforcement arrives

  • Remain calm and follow instructions
  • Put down any items in your hands (i.e., bags, jackets)
  • Raise hands and spread fingers
  • Keep hands visible at all times
  • Avoid quick movements toward officers such as holding on to them for safety
  • Avoid pointing, screaming or yelling
  • Do not stop to ask officers for help or direction when evacuating

Information you should provide to law enforcement or 9-1-1 operator

  • Location of the active shooter
  • Number of shooters
  • Physical description of shooters
  • Number and type of weapons held by shooters
  • Number of potential victims at the location


Dial 9-1-1 for emergencies

Waubonsee Campus Police
Non-emergency numbers

Sugar Grove & Plano
(630) 466-2552

Aurora Downtown & Aurora Fox Valley
(630) 906-4142