Active Shooter / Hostile Intruder | Teachers College Columbia UniversitySkip to content Skip to main navigation
An armed hostile intruder or active shooter could be encountered inside a College facility or outside on the campus grounds. Your immediate response and decisiveness will help protect you. Other factors including your location and your proximity to the suspect will also play a factor. In the event of an active shooter, TC Public Safety will utilize the public address system, TC Alert, email and other means to notifiy the community of the event.
In the event of an active shooter, you should either run, hide, or fight.
If you are indoors and you detect an armed intruder in your building:
- If you can safely escape from the building, RUN
- get out and report your observations to Public Safety X3333 or 9-1-1.
- Evacuate regardless of whether others agree to follow
- Leave your belongings or anything that can slow you down
- Help others escape if possible
- Do not attempt to move the wounded
- Keep your hands visible
- Call 911 when you are safe
- If you cannot safely escape, go into a room that can be locked or barricaded.
If you are indoors and cannot escape, HIDE
- Hide in an area out of the shooters view
- Lock and barricade doors “Lock-down”
- Turn off lights, close blinds and block windows
- Turn off radios
- Keep occupants calm, quiet, and out of sight
- Take adequate cover/protection behind concrete walls, thick desks, filing cabinets
- Stay low – on the floor
- Silence cell phones
- Place signs in exterior windows to identify location of injured persons.
- If you are in an area that is in “Lock-down”, stay there until law enforcement arrives and clears the area. Do not open an area in lock-down
- Call TC Public Safety at X3333 to report the emergency. 9-1-1 If you are calling from a cell phone give your name, location, and phone number.
- Provide as much information as you can about the situation
- Do not hang up until instructed to do so by the emergency operator.
- DO NOT move a badly injured person (especially those who may be suffering from a head, neck, or spinal injury) unless they must be moved from an immediately hazardous location.
If you are unable to hide and the shooter is close: FIGHT
- Fight as a last resort and only when your life is in imminent danger
- Act with as much aggression and physical force as possible
- Attempt to incapacitate the shooter with any and all objects that you may have in your immediate area. Including everything from books to trash cans to chairs
- Act with aggression and commit to your actions…..Your life depends on it…
- Objective is to immediately engage and neutralize the shooter(s)
- Police will not initially stop to help the wounded
- Rescue teams will follow police to assist those wounded
- Follow the instructions of police and emergency responders
- When told to exit the area, keep your hands visible
- Evacuate persons
- Facilitate follow-up medical care, interviews, counseling, etc.
What to report
Specific location - TC, building name, room no.
Number of persons at your specific location
Injuries – number and type of injuries (if any)
Assailant(s) location, number of assailants, race/gender, physical description, clothing description, type and number of weapons, backpack, shooters identity if known, separate explosions from gunfire.
For general building evacuation procedures please review the building evacuation section of this website.
Public Safety Alerts
Emergency Phone Numbers
- Campus phone X3333
Non campus or from cell phone 212-678-3333
Non-emergency College Services
- TC PS Non emergency 3220
- TC PS Administrative Office 3111
- TC Environmental Health and Safety (EH&S) 8164/6640
- TC Facilities 3010
- TC Residential services 3235
- TC Student Development and Activities 3690
- TC Risk Management 3482