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.