We live in a time where unfortunately we must all be mindful of our surroundings any time and anywhere as the increase in random gun violence has surfaced in every corner of society.

What would you do if you were in a supermarket, office building, movie theatre, school, concert or other “you name it” location if a shooting began?  

Did you know that having some forethought on what you would do in that scenario could save your life?

Have a plan now!  Don’t assume you would know what to do in the heat of an intense moment.

  • Be familiar with your surroundings. Know where the exits are located
    Designate safe rooms
  • Talk to your family and co-workers about a preplanned response
  • Keep emergency supplies at home, in your car and at the office
  • Identify ways to lock or barricade your area if neccessary
  • Practice!

Know what information to provide when calling 911:

  • Location of the incident
  • Location of the shooter/s on the premises
  • Description of the shooter/s if known without putting yourself in harms way to find out
  • Any known number of weapons and potential victims

What to do when shooting starts:


  1. Have an escape route and action plan
  2. Evacuate. Leave belongings. Help others escape if possible
  3. Do not attempt to move the wounded
  4. Prevent others from entering any area where the shooter may be present
  5. Keep your hands visible
  6. Call 911 when safe to do so

Tip: When you hear a break in the shooting, this is likely when the shooter is reloading and distracted. This is when you RUN!


  1. Find an area out of the shooters view
  2. Lock doors, barricade entrances, block entries any way you can (tables, chairs, bookcases, etc.)
  3. Shut off lights and stay out of sight and quite. Silence cell phones-including vibrate mode.

Fight for Your Life

  1. If your life is in imminent danger, you may be required to fight the attacker
  2. Attempt to incapacitate the shooter
  3. Act with as much physical aggression as possible. Gang up on the shooter. Throw things at the shooter if possible and use makeshift weapons.  Commit to your actions and do not back down!
  4. Yell loudly to the shooter to “STOP!”

What to do when the Shooting Stops:

Remain calm and reassure others that help is on the way

Render first aid if necessary

It is important to stay in your secure location until law enforcement comes to you!

When law enforcement arrives, keep your hands visible and follow all directions.

Understand that help may take some time to arrive as they must clear the area first to ensure it is safe.

Source: Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department