Armed Subject

Armed subject—any person in possession of a gun, knife, blunt object, or other potentially dangerous object and who intends to cause harm to others.

If an armed subject is actively or imminently causing death or serious physical injury, the following actions are recommended:

If you are located in a building and it is possible to exit safely, follow these steps:

  • Exit the building as quickly as possible and away from the immediate path of danger.
  • Notify anyone you may encounter to exit immediately.
  • While exiting, do not run in a straight line. If possible, use walls, furniture or other objects to block you from the armed subject.
  • Once outside use trees, vehicles, or other objects to block you from view.
  • When you are away from the immediate area of danger, summon help in any way possible and warn others.
  • If communication is possible, call Decorah Police, ext. 9-911, or Luther Campus Safety and Security, ext. 2111, providing specific information on your location, the number of armed subjects, and names of persons who may be involved and persons with injuries.
  • Take protective cover. Stay there until assistance arrives.

If you are located in a building and exiting the building is not possible, the following actions are recommended:

  • Go to the nearest room or office. Do not stay in an open hallway.
  • Do not sound the fire alarm as this may signal occupants to evacuate the building and thereby be put in harm’s way.
  • Close and lock the door.
  • Turn off the lights.
  • Barricade yourself in the room with furniture or anything else to secure the door
  • Seek protective cover. Stay low to the floor.
  • Stay away from windows.
  • Keep quiet and act as if no one is in the room.
  • Do not answer the door.
  • If communication is possible from an on-campus phone, call Decorah Police, ext. 9-911, or Luther Campus Safety and Security, ext. 2111, providing specific information on your location, the number of armed subjects, and names of persons who may be involved and persons with injuries.
  • If using a cell phone, call Decorah Police, ext. 911 or Luther Campus Safety and Security, 563-387-2111. It would be recommended to preprogram these numbers into your cell phone. Silence the phone to avoid detection in the event of a call.
  • Wait for the local police or campus security to assist you out of the building.

If you are located outside a building and it appears that you can get away safely, follow these steps:

  • Run away from the threat as fast as you can.
  • Do not run in a straight line. Use buildings, trees, vehicles, or other objects to block you from view.
  • When you are away from the immediate area of danger, summon help any way possible and warn others.
  • If communication is possible, call Decorah Police, 9-911, or Luther Campus Safety and Security, ext. 2111, providing specific information on your location, the number of armed subjects, and names of persons who may be involved and persons with injuries.
  • Take protective cover. Stay there until assistance arrives.

If you are located outside a building and running away is not a safe option, consider one of the following recommendations:

  • Quickly assess the area and find a good place to hide.
  • If death or serious physical injury is being caused to others and you are unable to run or hide, you can choose to "play dead" among the victims.
  • You can fight back. This is dangerous, but in some situations it might be the only option. Look for objects you might use as a weapon to defend yourself.
  • If you are caught by an armed subject and are not going to fight back, do not look your captor in the eyes. Obey all commands.
  • Once the local police or campus security arrives, follow their instructions.