University of Houston-Victoria

Emergency Management

Active Shooter

The Department of Homeland Security defines an active shooter as "an individual actively engaged in killing or attempting to kill people in a confined and populated area; in most cases, active shooters use firearm(s) and there is no pattern or method to their selection of victims."

These incidents happen quickly and are usually over within 10 to 15 minutes. Everyone must be prepared to react quickly to an active shooter situation.

Active Shooter Preparedness


  • AVOID: If possible, exit the building immediately and call (713) 570-HELP (4357) to reach UH Police, or dial 911
  • DENY: If you cannot exit, clear the hallway quickly and remain behind closed doors in a locked or barricaded room if possible. Stay away from windows
  • DEFEND: Do not attempt to confront or apprehend the shooter, unless as a last resort