Run | Hide | Fight

On campus and work-place violence incidents are rare, but it is important to be informed and prepared. The CU Denver Emergency Management Division is committed to providing a safe and secure environment for all students, faculty, staff, and visitors.

An active harmer situation is dynamic and evolves rapidly. In general, how you respond to an active harmer will be dictated by the specific circumstances of the encounter.

In the event of an active harmer incident, the following guidance, and procedures can be used.

icons saying run hide fight

How to respond when an Active Harmer is in your vicinity

To respond to an Active Harmer, quickly determine the most reasonable way to protect your own life and constantly evaluate your options of Run, Hide, and Fight. Remember that visitors are more likely to follow the lead of students, faculty, and staff during an active harmer situation.

If there is an accessible escape path, attempt to evacuate the premises. Be sure to: 

  • Have at least two escape routes and plans in mind
  • Evacuate regardless of whether others agree to follow
  • Leave your belongings behind
  • Help others escape, if possible
  • Prevent individuals from entering an area where the active shooter may be
  • Keep your hands visible
  • Follow the instructions of law enforcement
  • Do not attempt to move wounded people
  • Call 9-1-1 from a campus landline or 303-556-5000 from your cellphone when safe to do so

If evacuation is not possible, find a place to hide where the active harmer is less likely to find you.   

  • Your hiding place should:
    • Be out of the active harmer's view
    • Provide protection if shots are fired in your direction (e.g., an office with a closed and locked door)
    • Not trap you or restrict your options for movement
  • To prevent an active harmer from entering your hiding place:
    • Lock the door
    • Blockade the door with heavy furniture
  • If the active harmer is nearby:
    • Lock the door
    • Silence your cellphone and other electronic devices
    • Turn off any source of noise (e.g., radio, television, etc.)
    • Hide behind large items (e.g., cabinets, desks, etc.)
    • Remain quiet
  • If evacuation and hiding are not possible:
    • Dial or text 9-1-1 or 303-556-5000 to contact Campus Dispatch, if possible, to alert police of the active harmer's location
    • If you cannot speak, leave the line open and allow the dispatcher to listen

As a last resort, and only when your life is in imminent danger, attempt to disrupt and/or incapacitate the active harmer by:   

  • Acting as aggressively as possible against the active harmer
  • Throwing items and improvising weapons
  • Yelling
  • Committing to your actions
  • Work together as a team

Informative Videos

Active Harmer Response Training

CU Denver Emergency Management Division and the Auraria Campus Police Department provide regular Active Harmer Response trainings. Please check the Training & Event Calendar for the next available training.

If your school, department, or college would like to host an Active Harmer Response Training, email us at:

Additional resources and training opportunities

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