An armed intruder is an individual actively engaged in attempted mass murder. Victims are typically selected at random based on accessibility, and the event is typically unpredictable and evolves quickly. Those in the vicinity must make a rapid decision based on the situation at hand.
Knowing what to do can save lives. When an armed intruder is in your vicinity, you have three options: run, hide, or fight. To request a formal armed intruder response training session, please fill out this form. To view the material covered in this training, please click here.
Trust your instincts, and don’t delay. Get away as quickly as possible.
- Have an escape route and plan in mind for any buildings you frequent.
- Leave all belongings behind.
- Evacuate regardless of whether others agree to follow.
- Help others escape, if possible.
- Do not attempt to move the wounded.
- Prevent others from entering an area where the armed intruder may be.
- Keep your hands visible.
If you can’t escape, obstruct or deny the armed intruder from accessing your area. Relocate if needed.
- Remain out of the armed intruder’s view.
- Lock the door or block entry to your area with furniture or other heavy movable objects.
- Silence your cell phone (including vibrate mode), and remain quiet. Be prepared to defend yourself if needed with any object available.
If you have exhausted all other options, fight as a last resort and only when your life is in imminent danger.
- If others are with you, work together as a group.
- Attempt to incapacitate the armed intruder.
- Stand near the door, not across the room.
- Act with as much physical aggression as possible.
- Improvise weapons or throw items at the armed intruder.
- Commit to your actions: your life depends on it.
Call Berklee Public Safety at 617-747-8888 (extension 8888 from a campus phone) as soon as it is safe to do so.
Information to Provide to Law Enforcement
- Location of the intruder(s)
- The number of intruders
- A physical description of the intruder(s)
- The number and type of weapons held by the intruder(s)
- The number of potential victims at the location
How to Respond when Law Enforcement Arrives on the Scene
- Remain calm, and follow their instructions.
- Drop any items in your hands, such as bags or a jacket.
- Raise your hands, and spread your fingers.
- Keep your hands visible at all times.
- Avoid quick movements toward the officers, such as holding on to them for safety.
- Avoid pointing, screaming, or yelling.
- Do not ask questions when evacuating.
Note: the first officers to arrive on the scene will not stop to help the injured. Once you have reached a safe location, you likely will be held in that area by law enforcement until the threat is neutralized and all witnesses have been identified and questioned. Do not leave the area until law enforcement personnel have instructed you to do so.
Violent behavior includes, but is not limited to, the following:
- Any physical assault, with or without weapons
- Behavior that a reasonable person would interpret as being potentially violent, such as throwing things, pounding on a desk or door, or destroying property
- Specific threats to inflict harm, such as a threat to shoot a named individual
- The use of any object to intimidate and/or attack another person
Threatening behavior includes, but is not limited to, the following:
- Physical actions short of actual physical contact and/or injury, such as moving closer aggressively, waving arms or fists, or yelling in an aggressive or threatening manner
- General oral or written threats in any medium, including email and on social media, to people or property, such as “You better watch your back” or “I’ll get you” or “I’ll ruin your car”
- Threats made in a “joking” manner
- Stalking behavior
- Implicit threats, such as “You’ll be sorry” or “This isn’t over yet”
Reporting Violent or Threatening Behavior
If you are aware of a situation that has indicators of concern like the ones listed above, please share what you know with the Berklee police and Public Safety.
In an Emergency
- Get to a safe place.
- If you are on campus, call Berklee Public Safety at 617-747-8888 (extension 8888 from a campus phone).
- Tell the dispatcher your location, the phone number you’re calling from, the nature of the emergency, and who is involved.
- Safely notify others who might be in danger.
In a Non-Emergency