Responding to an Armed Aggressor

If an active shooter, gunman, or armed aggressor is on the USU campus, USU Police will alert you through the Aggie Alert system as soon as dispatch receives a report. In order to get initial safety information to you as quickly as possible, the first Aggie Alert may not include many details. Following alerts will contain more detailed information and will continued until the situation is resolved. 

Receive Aggie Alerts
To receive alerts when there is an emergency, make sure you are signed up for Aggie Alerts




Have an escape route and plan in mind. If you were faced with an armed aggressor, what are ways you could escape?

  • Leave your belongings behind so they don’t slow you down.
  • If you are in an open area, put something between you and the attacker.
  • Once you are safe, call 911 if you have information about the location of the armed aggressor.


If you are unable to escape an area without putting yourself in excessive danger or if the armed aggressor is not in your area, seek shelter and lock down immediately.

  • Find a room that can be locked or barricaded by using available materials.
  • Close window blinds and turn off lights to make it appear as though no one is there.
  • Get down low, spread out, and hide behind whatever you can.
  • Silence your phone.
  • Be cautious of attempts to get you to open a locked door. The attacker may bang on a secured door and try to entice you to open it, even claiming to be the police. If you are unsure if police are securing your area, call 911 to ask if it is OK to open the door.


If your life is in imminent danger and you have no other option, get ready to fight.

  • If you are with others, attack as a group.
  • Restrain the aggressor until police arrive.

If the Aggressor Is Near You

If you are in the area of the attack, call 911 once it is safe to do so.

When You Call 911

Provide the following information to the 911 operator:

  • The location of the attacker.
  • The number of attackers.
  • A physical description of the attacker(s).
  • The number and type of weapons held by the attackers(s).
  • The number of potential victims at your location.

While You Wait

While police are securing the building and containing the attacker, you can still take action.

  • Apply basic first aid to those who are injured: for bleeding, apply pressure and elevate the area.
  • Reassure others to stay calm and quiet.
  • Text your loved ones to let them know you are OK.

What to Do When Police Arrive

If you are in close proximity to the attacker, police will clear your area to check for victims and look for additional attackers who are trying to blend into the crowd. Law enforcement from several agencies may respond. Ensure your safety by following these directions:

  • Remain calm and follow the instructions of officers.
  • Immediately raise your hands and spread your fingers.
  • Keep your hands visible at all times.
  • Avoid making quick movements toward officers or holding on to them.
  • Avoid pointing, screaming, or yelling.
  • Do not stop to ask officers for help or direction when evacuating; proceed in the direction from which the officers are entering the premises.

If the Aggressor Is Not Near You

If you are on another area of campus than the armed aggressor, we ask that you shelter in place in your office, classroom, or residence hall to ensure police and emergency medical responders are able to move about campus quickly to find the attacker and help victims.

While You Wait

While you wait for the police to resolve the incident, you can help ensure the safety of others on campus by doing the following:

  • Seek shelter away from the attack.
  • Text loved ones to let them know you are OK.
  • Wait for instructions from USU Police through an Aggie Alert or check for updates.
  • Avoid calling 911 in order to get more information. Please leave lines open for victims and witnesses.
  • Be cautious of any information you receive from sources other than USU and USU Police, particularly on social media. These situations can be disorienting, and echoes from shots can confuse people about where the attack is coming from. Look for official information and refrain from passing on information that might be inaccurate.