Active-shooter events are highly charged. There are several things you need to be aware of when law enforcement is responding. Unless they clearly know who the shooter is, everyone is considered a suspect and can pose a direct threat to law enforcement.
Instinctively, individuals that carry firearms may immediately draw their weapon when they hear gunfire, even if they don't know where the gunshots are coming from. The only time you should draw your weapon is if you've clearly identified the shooter, and not another individual that may be armed. Remember that there may be other individuals or law enforcement officers who just arrived on scene and are not in uniform, and you may mistake them for the shooter. If you decide to engage the shooter after discharging your firearm, immediately holster it.
When law enforcement arrives on the scene, they are looking for anyone with a gun and may think you are the shooter. If you are unarmed and overpower the shooter and obtain their weapon, you should not hold them at gunpoint. Place the weapon, if it's a handgun, in a trashcan or some other type of container and put it in another room away from the shooter. If the shooter has a long gun, then wrap it in a jacket, blanket, or any other type of material.
If law enforcement approaches you or you are leaving the building, make sure you have nothing in your hands, like a cell phone. Keep your hands above your head and obey all commands that are given to you by law enforcement.
When you see law enforcement, do not run up to them and give them a hug, shake their hand, or pat them on the back. You may be very glad to see them and want to thank them; however, they are in a heightened state of engagement, and their objective is to find and stop the shooter. They may also interpret these actions as a direct threat to their personal safety.
Do not interfere with law enforcement or medical personnel when they arrive on scene; this includes using your cell phone camera to record their actions. Again, they are in a heightened state, and they don't need to be distracted.
Ones outside do not get into your car and drive away. Dozens of law enforcement and medical personnel will be responding. Vehicles attempting to flee may clog roads, delaying the arrival of additional assistance. If you have no relevant information to provide and don't want to be there any longer, just walk away; you can always get your car later.
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