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How would you defend yourself against an active shooter?



If something doesn't seem right, act on your instinct and leave the area, if possible. Avoid the situation at the very first sign that something bad may be occurring.

  • If safe, leave the area as soon as possible.
  • Call 8911, 864-388-8222 or 911 when it is safe to do so.
  • Know your exits.
  • Consider secondary exits.
  • Evacuate regardless of whether others agree to follow.



If getting away is difficult or impossible, you should attempt to create distance and barriers between you and the threat.

  • Proceed to a room that can be locked.
  • Close, lock and barricade windows and doors.
  • Turn off lights.
  • Silence your cell phone (including the vibrate mode) and remain quiet.
  • Again, if possible, call 8911, (864) 388-8222 or 911. If unable to speak, leave an open line.
  • Do not unlock the door or respond to voices unless absolutely certain it is the police.



If you cannot AVOID or DENY, be prepared to DEFEND yourself using whatever means necessary.

  • Remain calm.
  • Again, if possible, call 8911, (864) 388-8222 or 911. If unable to speak, leave an open line to allow the dispatcher to hear what is going on.
  • If you were unable to avoid the area or deny the intruder access to you, be prepared to FIGHT!
  • Act within your capabilities. Do not do anything that will further jeopardize your safety.


When Law Enforcement Arrives

Show your hands and follow all commands

  • Remain calm.
  • Follow all commands.
  • Raise hands and spread fingers. Keep hands visible at all times.
  • Avoid any quick movements toward officers.
  • Do not stop officers to ask for assistance. The officers first priority is to stop the threat.
  • While it is likely that uniformed officers will be the first on scene, this is not always the case. There may be plain clothes officers or officers from different departments wearing different colors and styles of uniform responding. Those officers will more than likely have some type of visual identification that they are law enforcement, such as a police badge located on their belt or a patch on the arm or chest.

Early identification, Intervention and Awareness

The most successful strategy for surviving an active shooter or armed intruder event is to avoid the area. It is also beneficial to include other prevention strategies such as early identification, intervention, and awareness.

  • If the situation has not reached a critical stage, you may call and report any suspicious behavior to the Lander Police Department via phone (864-388-8222), submit an anonymous tip, or Login to MyLander Portal to Report a Concern.
  • If the threat is imminent or the attack has already begun, do not hesitate. Call 8911, (864) 388-8222 or 911 as you proceed to the safest location based on your assessment of the events happening around you.
  • If you believe that someone may pose a threat to themselves or others, call for help immediately.
  • Always be aware of your surroundings and report anything or anyone suspicious.

Note: The AVOID-DENY-DEFEND video was developed by the Advanced Law Enforcement rapid Response Training (ALERRT) Program at Texas State University. This video has been developed as an easy to remember method for individuals. The video is an 11:30 minute overview of how to save your life in an Active Shoot Event.

Community Response to an Active Shooter

Community Response to an Active Shooter is a presentation to educate you on what to expect in the event of an active shooter: what to do, how to protect yourself, and how police will respond. Request this presentation for you University/Link 101 class, academic course, meetings, student/faculty organizations, residence halls, and other meetings free of charge. Contact Capt. Dena Gossett at 864-388-8222 or email her at



An individual must use his/her own discretion during an active shooter event as to whether he/she chooses to run to safety or remain in place. However, best practices for surviving an active shooter event are on this page.

REMEMBER: Law Enforcement's first priority is to confront and disable the threat.