Missouri State University

Hostile Intruder Situations

Purpose

This Emergency Response Plan (ERP) is designed to establish a framework for Missouri State University to both avoid preventable emergency situations and to respond effectively and safely to emergencies when they occur. This includes assessing an emergency situation, coordinating a response effort, minimizing adverse effects, and, most importantly, ensuring that individuals are informed, safely evacuated or sheltered, and accounted for with reasonable assurance.

Scope

This action plan applies to all occupants of facilities and grounds owned, operated, and/or leased by Missouri State University-Springfield campus.

This training cannot cover every possible situation that might occur, but it is a training tool that can reduce the number of injuries or death if put into action as soon as a situation develops.

While the guide refers primarily to academic buildings, it should be stated that these procedures are also relevant to administrative buildings and other common buildings on the campus.

Hostile Intruder(s) on the Campus Grounds of the University

When a hostile person(s) is actively causing death or serious physical injury or the threat of imminent death or serious physical injury to person(s) on the Missouri State University grounds, we recommend the following procedures be implemented:

  • Run away from the threat if you can, as fast as you can. Do not run in a straight line. Keep vehicles, bushes, trees, and anything that could possibly block your view from the hostile person(s) while you are running.
  • If you can get away from the immediate area of danger, summon help and warn others.
  • If you decide to hide, take into consideration the area in which you are hiding. Will I be found here? Is this really a good spot to remain hidden?
  • If the person(s) are causing death or serious physical injury to others and you are unable to run or hide you may choose to play dead if other victims are around you
  • The last option you have if caught in an open area outside may be to fight back. Do not look the intruder(s) in the eye; obey all commands.
  • Once the police arrive, obey all commands. This may involve you being handcuffed or made to put your hands in the air. This is done for safety reasons and once circumstances are evaluated by the police, they will give you further directions.

Hostile Intruder(s) in a Non-Residence Hall

When a hostile person(s) is actively causing death or serious bodily injury or the threat of imminent death or serious bodily injury to person(s) within a building we recommend the following procedures be implemented.

  • Faculty should immediately lock the students and themselves in the classroom. If possible, cover any windows or openings that have a direct line of sight into the hallway.
  • If communication is available, call 911.
  • Do not sound the fire alarm. A fire alarm would signal the occupants to evacuate the building and, thus, place them in potential harm as they attempt to exit.
  • Lock the windows and close the blinds or curtains.
  • Stay away from the windows.
  • Turn off lights and audio equipment.
  • Try to remain as calm as possible.
  • Keep everyone together.
  • Keep classrooms secure until police arrive and give you directions.
  • If you are not in a classroom, try to get to a classroom or an office.
  • Stay out of open areas and be as quiet as possible.

If for some reason you are caught in an open area such as a hallway or lounge, you must decide what you are going to do. This is a very crucial time and it can possibly mean life or death.

  • You can try to hide, but make sure it is a well-hidden space or you may be found as the intruder moves through the building looking for victims.
  • If you think you can safely make it out of the building by running, then do so. If you decide to run, do not run in a straight line. Attempt to keep objects such as desks, cabinets, fixtures, etc. between you and the hostile person(s). Once outside, do not run in a straight line. Use trees, vehicles and other objects to block you from the view of the intruder(s). When away from the immediate area of danger, summon help any way you can and warn others.
  • If the person(s) are causing death or serious physical injury to others and you are unable to run or hide, you may choose to play dead if other victims are around you.
  • Your last option if you are caught in an open area in a building may be to fight back. This is dangerous, but depending on your situation, this could be your last option.
  • If you are caught by the intruder(s) and are not going to fight back, obey all commands and don’t look the intruder(s) in the eyes.
  • Once the police arrive, obey all commands. This may involve you being handcuffed, or keeping your hands in the air. This is done for safety reasons and once circumstances are evaluated by the police, they will give you further directions to follow.

Hostile Intruder(s) in a Residence Hall

When a hostile person(s) is actively causing deadly harm or the imminent threat of deadly harm within the residence hall, we recommend the following procedures be implemented:

  • Lock yourself in your room.
  • If communication is available, call 911.
  • If away from your room, join others in a room that can be locked.
  • Do not stay in the open hallway.
  • Do not sound the fire alarm. A fire alarm would signal the occupants in the rooms to evacuate the building and, thus, place them in potential harm as they attempt to exit.
  • Barricade yourself in your room with desks, beds, or anything you can push against the door.
  • Lock your window and close the blinds or curtains.
  • Stay away from the window.
  • Turn all lights and audio equipment off.
  • Try to stay calm and be as quiet as possible.

If for some reason you are caught in the open such as hallways or lounge areas, you must decide what you are going to do. This is a very crucial time and can possibly mean life or death depending on what actions you take.

  • You can try to hide, but make sure it is a well hidden space or you may be found as the intruder(s) moves through the residence hall looking for more victims.
  • If you think you can safely make it out of the building by running, then do so. If you decide to run, do not run in a straight line. Attempt to keep objects such as desks, cabinets, fixtures, etc. between you and the hostile person(s). Once outside, do not run in a straight line. Use trees, vehicles and other objects to block you from the view of the intruder(s). When away from the immediate area of danger, summon help any way you can and warn others.
  • If the person(s) are causing death or serious physical injury to others and you are unable to run and hide, you may choose to play dead if other victims are around you.
  • The last option you have if you are caught in an open area in the residence hall may be to fight back. This is dangerous, but depending on your situation this could be your last option.
  • If you are caught by the intruder(s) and are not going to fight back, obey all commands and don’t look the intruder(s) in the eyes.
  • Once the police arrive, obey all commands. This may involve you being handcuffed or made to put your hands in the air. This is done for safety reasons and once circumstances are evaluated by the police, they will give you further instructions to follow.

What to do if you are Taken Hostage

The following procedures should be implemented:

  • Be patient. Time is on your side. Avoid drastic action.
  • The initial forty-five (45) minutes are the most dangerous. Follow instructions; be alert and stay alive. The captor is emotionally unbalanced. Do not make mistakes which could hazard your well-being.
  • Do not speak unless spoken to, and then only when necessary. Do not talk down to the captor who may be in an agitated state. Avoid appearing hostile. DO NOT look the captor directly in the eyes. Treat the captor like royalty.
  • Try to rest. Avoid speculation. Comply with instructions as best as you can. Avoid arguments. Expect the unexpected.
  • Be observant. You may be released or be able to escape. The personal safety of others may depend on your memory of the situation.
  • Be prepared to answer the police on the phone. Be patient. Wait.
  • Attempt to establish rapport with the captor. If medication, first aid, or restroom privileges are needed by anyone – say so. The captor, in all probability, does not want to harm persons held by him or her. Such direct action further implicates the captor in additional offenses.
  • IF THE CAPTOR TRIES TO COVER YOUR HEAD WITH A BAG, SACK, OR OTHER OBJECT, IT HAS NOW BECOME NECESSARY FOR YOU TO FAKE AN ILLNESS OR FAINT.