Active Shooter and Aggressive Deadly Behavior

In the event of an active shooter or aggressive deadly behavior on campus, we strive to educate and identify department roles and responsibilities to an actual or potential event, and provide information to faculty, staff and students related to what they should do in the event of an active shooter on the University Campus.


A threat may present itself at SUNY Brockport that requires students, staff, faculty, and guests to take protective measures to avoid harm. These measures may involve members of the campus community isolating themselves from the threat. The nature of the threat will determine the actions that will have the highest likelihood of success (i.e., shelter in place, evacuation, etc.).


Active Shooter

Per the FBI (2022) an active shooter is one or more individuals actively engaged in killing or attempting to kill people in a population area.

Active shooter situations are unpredictable and evolve quickly. Typically, the immediate deployment of law enforcement is required to stop the shooting and mitigate harm to victims.

Active Aggressive Deadly Behavior

An ongoing event where suspect(s) is/are engaged in causing death or great bodily harm or injury; and

The incident is believed to contain multiple victims, often where a delayed recovery of victims could result in the victim’s death or further injury (does not have to involve a firearm, could be an attack with an edged or blunt weapon, placing or detonating explosive devices or other means).

Because these situations are often over within 10 to 15 minutes, before law enforcement arrives on the scene, individuals must be prepared both mentally and physically to deal with an active shooter/aggressive deadly behavior situation.

Responding to an Active Shooter or Aggressive Deadly Behavior Event 

The recommended best practice for individuals to take in these situations is the “Run/Hide/Fight” response outlined below.

If you receive an official emergency communication notifying you of a hazardous situation where you must take immediate action to protect yourself, stay as calm as possible and follow the recommended protective actions. Only you will be able to determine the safest course of action that should be taken.

1. Run (evacuate)

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

  • Have an escape route and plan 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, to prevent confusion to law enforcement
  • Follow the instructions of law enforcement personnel
  • Do not attempt to move wounded people
  • Notify University Police when you are safe

2. Hide

If evacuation is not possible, find a place to hide where the suspect is less likely to find you. Your hiding place should: 

  • Be out of the suspect’s view
  • In the case of an active shooter, provide protection if shots are fired in your direction (i.e., a room with a closed and locked door if possible)
  • Not trap you or restrict your options for movement

To prevent a suspect from entering your hiding place: 

  • Lock the door, if possible
  • Blockade the door with whatever is available – heavy furniture, door wedges, file cabinets, etc.
  • Cover any windows or openings that have a direct line of sight into the hallway.

  If the suspect is nearby: 

  • Lock the door, if possible
  • Line everyone up away from doors and windows. Use the same wall as the doors if possible.
  • Close windows, shades and curtains
  • Silence all cell phone and other electronic devices
  • Turn off any source of noise (i.e. radios, televisions, etc.)
  • Hide behind large items (i.e., cabinets, desks)
  • Remain silent
  • 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 attempted to exit.
  • Notify UPD when it is safe to do so

If Running and Hiding are not possible: 

  • Remain calm and notify UPD, if possible, to alert them of the suspect’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 suspect by: 

  • Acting as aggressively as possible against him/her
  • Throwing items and improvising weapons
  • Yelling
  • Committing to your actions

What To Know When Law Enforcement Arrives

Law enforcement’s purpose is to stop the active shooter as soon as possible. Officers will proceed directly to the area in which the last shots were heard. There may be one or multiple Officers and they could be from different police departments. In addition:

  • Officers may wear regular patrol uniforms or external bulletproof vests, Kevlar helmets and other tactical equipment
  • Officers may be armed with rifles, shotguns, handguns
  • Officers may use pepper spray or tear gas to control the situation
  • Officers may shout commands and may push individuals to the ground for their safety
  • The first officers to arrive to the scene will not stop to help injured persons.

Expect rescue teams comprised of additional officers and emergency medical personnel to follow the initial officers. These rescue teams will treat and remove any injured persons. They may also call upon able-bodied individuals to assist in removing the wounded from the premises. 

While law enforcement personnel are still assessing the situation, other police officers will move through the entire area to ensure the threat is over.  

How To React When Law Enforcement Arrives

  • Remain calm and follow officers’ instructions
  • Put down any items in your hands (i.e., cell phones, bags, jackets)
  • Immediately raise hands and spread fingers
  • Always keep hands visible
  • Avoid making quick movements toward officers such as holding on to them for safety
  • Avoid pointing, screaming and/or yelling
  • Do not stop to ask officers for help or direction when evacuating, just proceed in the direction from which officers are entering the premises

Once you have reached a safe location or an assembly point, you will likely be held in that area by law enforcement until the situation is under control and all witnesses have been identified and questioned. Do not leave until law enforcement authorities have instructed you to do so. 

Prior to an Active Shooter and/or Aggressive Deadly Behavior Event

To best prepare for an active shooter/aggressive deadly threat situation, SUNY Brockport students, staff, faculty, and guests will undergo education, awareness, training and various exercises.


Using workshops, seminars, lectures, and any other opportunity to educate regarding the hazards of an active shooter/aggressive deadly behavior threat, the UPD and Emergency Manager will educate the campus community on ways each person can potentially react to such an event.

Other means of education may be distributed in a variety of ways, including but not limited to web pages, social media, printed literature, video message boards, etc. to supplement in-person instruction and training.


  • Foster a respectful campus
  • Be aware of indications of violence and take remedial actions accordingly (i.e., If you see something, say something)
  • Recognizing indicators for potential violence by an individual (including but not limited to) :
    • Increased use of alcohol and/or illegal drugs
    • Unexplained increase in absenteeism; vague physical complaints
    • Noticeable decrease in attention to appearance and hygiene
    • Depression/withdrawal
    • Resistance and overreaction to changes in policy and procedures
    • Repeated violations of campus policies
    • Increased severe mood swings
    • Noticeably unstable, emotional responses
    • Explosive outbursts of anger or rage without provocation
    • Suicidal; comments about “putting things in order”
    • Behavior that is suspect of paranoia, (“everybody is against me”)
    • Increasingly talks of personal problems
    • Talk of severe financial problems
    • Talk of previous incidents of violence
    • Empathy with individuals committing violence
    • Increase in unsolicited comments about firearms, other dangerous weapons and violent crimes

Addressing Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) Compliance

Due to individual circumstances, some members of the campus community may not be able to engage in all aspects of the preparation or response to an active shooter/aggressive deadly behavior event.

Therefore, if you are an employee of the University, you are directed to reach out to the University’s ADA Compliance Officer, the Assistant Vice President (Human Resources) at (585) 395-2442. The ADA Compliance Officer, in conjunction with other University Personnel will be able to assist you in developing a safety plan to meet your needs.

If you are a student in need of the assistance, you should contact Student Accessibility Services Office (585) 395-5409 or by email at

Students and staff can also access the University’s Building Evacuation Procedures for information, procedures and re resources to assist in the evacuation of non-residential buildings.