What is an Active Shooter?

An “active shooter” is an individual who is 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.

Key Stats and Facts

In 2018, FBI statistics indicated there were 27 active shooter events in the United States, and 85 individuals were killed. This statistic does not include mass shooting events. A total of 340 mass shooter events occurred in 2018.

The primary difference between an active shooter event and a mass shooter event is the number of injured or dead. Once that number reaches four (excluding the shooter), the FBI changes the classification to mass shooter.

Active shooter events most commonly occur in businesses (45%), schools (25%), and government facilities (10%).
More than one in four (29%) of these tragedies has occurred at educational institutions.
Active shooter incidents typically end in one of four ways:

  • The shooter commits suicide.
  • The shooter and law enforcement exchange gunfire.
  • Unarmed citizens successfully restrain the shooter.
  • Armed citizens exchange gunfire.


The "run, hide, fight" strategy can help keep you safe in the event of an active shooter situation:


  • Getting away from the shooter is a top priority.
  • Have an escape route and plan in mind.
  • Leave your belongings behind.
  • Keep your hands visible.


  • Hide in an area out of the shooter’s view.
  • Block entry to your hiding place and lock the doors.
  • Silence your cell phone and/or pager.
  • Stay in place until law enforcement gives you the all clear.


  • Fight as a last resort and only when your life is in imminent danger.
  • Attempt to incapacitate the shooter.
  • Act with physical aggression and throw items at the shooter.



When an active shooter is in your vicinity, you must be prepared both mentally and physically to deal with the situation. Southeast Missouri State University police offer training that prepares individuals to respond to these events. Our instructor-led active shooter response training is based on the Department of Homeland Security model. This model focuses on the “run, hide, and fight” strategy.


All University Police instructors have completed an Active Shooter Response Training course specifically for instructors. All portions of this training are instructor-led and interactive. Participants will have the opportunity to ask the instructors questions before and after the training.
Our certified instructors will complete a site evaluation upon request. Instructors will tour the worksite with the requesting party and suggest ways to improve workplace safety. These suggestions will be documented and provided to the requesting party.

What to Expect

Participants attend a 90-minute PowerPoint presentation followed by a question and answer period. Once individuals complete the presentation phase, they may participate in the scenario portion of the training, allowing individuals to utilize the information provided during the presentation. The scenario portion of the training is interactive and strictly voluntary and is also followed by a question and answer period. This portion of the training will take approximately 60 minutes.

How to request an Active Shooter Training

Contact Training Coordinator Officer Jason Morgan at jdmorgan@semo.edu or at (573) 651-2215 ext. 2728.

(573) 651-2310
(573) 986-6187
Emergency Operations
(573) 651-2547
1401 N. Sprigg
Cape Girardeau, MO 63701
Mailing Address
One University Plaza, MS 7275
Cape Girardeau, MO 63701