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Active Shooter

"Shots Fired!"...the last thing you'd expect to hear on campus.

shots fired
The key is to develop a survival mindset; decide that you will survive!

Violent incidents, including but not limited to: acts of terrorism, an active shooter, assaults, or other incidents of workplace violence, can occur on the University grounds or in close proximity with little or no warning. An active shooter is considered to be a suspect or assailant whose activity is immediately causing serious injury or death and has not been contained.

The UWF Police Department has adopted nationally accredited law enforcement response procedures to contain and terminate such threats as quickly as possible. The following information regarding law enforcement response will enable you to take appropriate protective actions for yourself. Try to remain calm as your actions will influence others. The following instructions are intended for incidents that are of an emergent nature (i.e. imminent, or in progress).

An active shooter is a person or persons who appear to be actively engaged in actively threatening lives or prepared to threaten lives in populated areas on campus. In most cases active shooters use firearm(s) and display no pattern or method for selection of their victims. In some cases, active shooters use other weapons and/or improvised explosive devices to cause additional victimization and act as an impediment to law enforcement and emergency services responders. These improvised explosive devices may detonate immediately, have delayed detonation fuses, or may detonate on contact.

If a person enters the building with a weapon, if you hear gun fire or observe suspicious behavior, contact the University Police and provide as much information as possible.


If there is an accessible escape path, attempt to evacuate the premises. 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.
  • Follow the instructions of any police officers.
  • Do not attempt to move wounded people.
  • Call 9-1-1 or University Police (850) 474-2911 or (850) 474-2415


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

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

To prevent an active shooter from entering your hiding place:

  • Lock door
  • Blockade the door with heavy furniture

If the active shooter is nearby:

  • Lock the door
  • Silence your cell phone and/or pager
  • Turn off any source of noise (i.e., radios, televisions)
  • Hide behind large items (i.e., cabinets, desks)
  • Remain quiet


Take action against the active shooter as a last resort, and only when your life is in imminent danger, attempt to disrupt and/or incapacitate the active shooter by:

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

Shots Fired

No campus today is immune from an active shooter incident. Unfortunately these events have occurred on campuses of all size from coast-to-coast. At UWF, the UWF Police is responsible to ensure the safety of students, faculty, staff and community visitors. Therefore, we are making the campus community aware of this very important topic and how they can take action to increase their chances of survival should such an event occur. 

Unfortunately, this contemporary, violent event is occurring at universities with catastrophic results. The Center for Personal Protection and Safety has released an instructional video and training program designed to empower students, faculty, and staff with knowledge and strategies for preventing and surviving an active shooter situation.

The "Shots Fired On Campus" video (requires UWF login) provides the individual with critical guidance on how to recognize and survive an active shooter situation.