Tools to Survive Targeted Violence

UCPD officers have all received extensive training on what to do in this situation, but it is equally important that our campus community members think of how they will respond.

If you witness any armed individual on campus at any time, immediately call UCPD to report the emergency 9-1-1 (or 510-642-3333 via cell phone). Use common sense. If escaping from danger is impossible, you should lockdown and prepare to counter the attacker.

About Fleeing

If it is possible to flee the area safely and avoid danger, do so.
If it is safe to do so, consider:

  • Escaping out of the other side of the building.
  • Do not go to the normal gathering site for your building. Instead, get far away from the shooting scene and then contact the Police Department to notify of your location.
  • Do not attempt to flee if the shooter is between you and your escape. If you are unsure, do not attempt to flee.

Shots Fired


About Hiding in Place

If it is not possible to flee the area safely:

  • Go dark. Turn off all the lights.
  • Lock all windows and doors and secure yourself in your space.
  • Barricade the entrance if possible (heavy furniture, etc.)
  • Prepare to counter the attacker. Don't just hide and wait.
  • Develop a plan (have items to throw...laptops, chairs, etc.)

About Notifying Others

Alert the police, and alert others in your building or nearby if possible.
Dial 9-1-1 [or (510) 642-3333 via cell] to notify police and give your location, if that seems practical.
Do not pull the fire alarm because it will provide the shooter with more opportunities to cause harm.

If the shooter comes into your room or office

  • There is no one procedure can be recommended in this situation.
  • Attempting to negotiate with the individual may be very dangerous.
  • Attempting to overcome the individual with force is a last resort that should only be initiated in the most extreme circumstances, but, again, DO SOMETHING!


Wait for the "all-clear" instruction given by an authorized or known voice, or via a WarnMe message. If the staff or students do not recognize the voice that is giving instruction, they should not change their status. Call the police to verify that officers are at your location.

  • Unknown or unfamiliar voices may be giving false assurances.
  • Remember, there may be more than one active shooter.

After a Valid "All-Clear"

Follow the direction of Police Officers as you leave the building.
Police may direct you to one collection point.

  • When encountering Police Officers, keep your hands on your head or open in front of you. Officers are trained to be aware of all possible dangers and need to see quickly that you are not a threat.
  • Be careful not to make any changes to the scene of the incident since law enforcement authorities will investigate the area later.


Law enforcement agencies have worked diligently to assess their response strategies to episodes of targeted violence. Some of this recent insight has been codified. Expert training now revolves around the acronym A.L.I.C.E.

Alert – Events have shown that clear communication is key. Agencies may use plain language, not code, when communicating about a live situation. Codes are often agency-specific and can hamper understanding in a crisis situation.

Lockdown -- Traditional lockdown techniques have been reconsidered. Experts now have a broader range of recommendations for how to proceed with aspects of a lockdown, whether it be Barricade, Role of Mobile Devices (silence, or use), and how to use time in lockdown to formulate specific response strategies or communicate with police.

Inform -- Communicate with law enforcement and tell them about the location and actions of the shooter as it is changing or happening.

Counter -- It has been observed that shooters often work alone and that it can change things if their plans are thrown off balance. Anything a person can do to gain control of a situation is acceptable. Law enforcement now encourages individuals in a crisis situation to "Do Something," with the realization that they are, in essence, the first of the first responders, and that seconds count.

Evacuate -- When it is safe to do so, remove yourself from the danger zone. There are new techniques for more strategically evacuating, whether it is as an individual or as a group, so that more people can get away without having to come into contact with the shooter.

Contact for a Targeted Violence Presentation