Following Sunday’s shooting that claimed the lives of six innocent victims, after a 40-year-old Army veteran allegedly gunned down a group of people at a Sikh temple in Wisconsin, Boston University Police released information via social media to students and faculty outlining how to handle “an active shooter” scenario.
“A lot of people ask, what should I do in the case of an active shooter, and as you know, it can happen anywhere at any time,” said Scott Pare, Deputy Director of Public Safety at Boston University. “The public has heightened awareness [right now] and is seeing [these incidents] and we are taking advantage of that.”
The Wisconsin attack comes on the heels of the Aurora, Colorado shooting, where 12 people were killed by a gunmen in a movie theatre.
The department Tweeted to the community Monday, informing them that they had updated “Active Shooter Preparedness and Response Information” before sending out a video to their followers called “Run. Hide. Fight. Surviving an Active Shooter Event.”
“This is just…if it happens, and it seems like its happening almost weekly,” said Pare.
Pare said although students won’t be back until September, they may see the Tweets from officials, since they have over 1,200 followers on Twitter.
“We will have it up on our website for the students who are coming back in September, and we will retweet it when the students are here,” he said. “It just reemphasizes…its something that should be talked about so people can plan in advance.”
The information, which acts as a preparedness guide for people at the Boston University campus, describes what to do if encountered by someone with guns and explosives, as well as how to act as the potential situation unfolds.
Boston University Police even describe what an active shooter is, starting the guidelines by saying “[it is] a person or persons who appear to be actively engaged in killing or attempting to kill people in populated areas on campus. In most cases active shooters use a firearm(s) and display no pattern or method for selection of their victims.”
According to the guidelines put out by BUPD, killers may even turn to “other weapons and/or improvised explosive devices (IED) to cause additional victimization and act as an impediment to law enforcement and emergency services responders.”
From the guidelines:
If an active shooter enters your office, lab or classroom, you should: Try to remain calm. Try not to do anything that will provoke the active shooter.
If there is no possibility of escaping or hiding, only as a last resort when your life is in imminent danger should you make a personal choice to attempt to negotiate with or overpower the assailant(s).
The list includes a pocket-sized print out of what to do in the event of a shooter attacking, and a poster of an “active shooter.”
Pare said the school pulled the video, which depicts a shooting situation in an office setting, from the city of Houston, Texas. While Pare has never had to respond to an “active shooter” scene in his time as both a Massachusetts State Police officer or Deputy Director of Public Safety at Boston University, he said it’s always best to be prepared.
“I hope it never happens here, but it certainly does happen. At least this way you have some type of ideas to respond,” he said.