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What To Do if You See Someone on Campus With a Gun

The following guidelines are designed to help you effectively respond to potentially dangerous situations on campus. Each scenario may differ based on specific facts and circumstances, so it is crucial to use your discretion and instincts. For additional information and training opportunities, visit

1. Do not panic and remain calm.

2. Assess the situation.

If the Person is Threatening You or Acting Erratically:

  • Call 9-1-1 immediately and provide as much detail as possible.
    • Remember, 9-1-1 calls go to the County 9-1-1 (MECCA) and not UPD, but UPD will be notified.
    • Be ready to state your name, title/department, location, and a detailed description of the person and weapon.
    • Stay on the line and follow further instructions.
  • Try to de-escalate the situation if possible, or initiate Run, Hide, Fight if it becomes an active shooter situation.
    • De-escalate: Actively listen, repeat and emphasize what the person is saying. Use positive body language (e.g., nodding and agreeing). If the person is fixated on something, try to shift their attention to something else. Avoid saying things like "calm down" or "I'm calling the police" as these can escalate the situation.
    • Run, Hide, Fight: For detailed instructions, view the FBI training video.

If the Person is NOT Threatening You or Acting Erratically:

If the weapon display appears accidental and brief (e.g., a pistol becoming uncovered when someone bends over or sits down)

  • Consider if you know the person well and have a good relationship with them.
    • If you do, consider the best time to raise the issue.
    • If not, evaluate whether to contact UPD immediately or wait for a more appropriate moment. For example, if the display is ongoing (e.g., a weapon slipped out of a backpack and is lying on the floor), take immediate action.
    • If you are extremely uncomfortable, contact UPD or use the LiveSafe App. If you can’t call UPD or use the LiveSafe App discreetly, consider taking a break or ending the class/meeting/event early. Then refer the matter to UPD for follow-up.

3. Report the Incident to UPD.

  • Reports can be made either by calling 304-293-3136 or using the LiveSafe App.
    • Ensure you have the LiveSafe App downloaded and up-to-date on your phone for quick access.
    • To make a report on LiveSafe:
      1. Open the app.
      2. Tap the plus (+) sign and select Weapons/Threat.
      3. Alternatively, tap the Emergencies tile.
Home screen of the LiveSafe app shown on an iPhone. The first tile says Emergencies and the second tile says SafeWalk. There is a plus sign button at the bottom.

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