Armed Subject

An armed subject is any person in possession of a gun, knife, club 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:

A. 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 do not run in a straight line. Use 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, ext. 9-911, or Luther Security, ext. 2111, providing specific information on your location, the number of armed subjects and persons who may be involved, injuries, etc.
  • Take protective cover. Stay there until assistance arrives.


B. 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 Security, ext. 2111, providing specific information on your location, the number of armed subjects and persons who may be involved, injuries, etc.
  • If using a cell phone, call Decorah Police, ext. 911 or Luther Security, ext. 563-387-2111. It would be recommended to preprogram these numbers into your cell phone.
  • Wait for the local Police or Campus Security to assist you out of the building.

C. 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 possibly 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, ext. 9-911 or Luther Security, ext. 2111, providing specific information on your location, the number of armed subjects and persons who may be involved, injuries, etc.
  • Take protective cover. Stay there until assistance arrives.


D. 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.
  • If you are caught by an armed subject and are not going to fight back, do not look your captor in the eyes and obey all commands.
  • Once the local Police or Campus Security arrives, follow their instructions.