Active Shooter or Armed Assailant

An active shooter or armed assailant incident could occur on or near campus with little or no warning. This type of incident would involve one or more individuals with a firearm or other dangerous weapon(s), intent on injuring people. The following guidelines can help you reduce your risk of being injured should such an incident ever occur on or near campus. All members of the Cornell Tech community need to exercise their best judgment to stay safe in such a situation.

In the case of an active shooter or armed assailant call 911 immediately!


Directives for the Cornell Tech Community

If a dangerous situation develops that poses a serious threat to the Cornell Tech community, you need to know what to do and how to respond safely. You must protect yourself as best you can by either fleeing the immediate area (Avoid), locking down (Barricade), and as a last resort confronting the threat (Confront). This can be remembered by utilizing the acronym A, B, C.

  • To Avoid means to get out of the building and away from the threat.
  • To Barricade means to lock and barricade yourself in a secure area that will help protect you from the threat.
  • To Confront means to use whatever is at your disposal to prevent imminent loss of life.


The above recommendations are dependent on your specific situation. In any emergency, staying calm and thinking clearly will help you react in the best possible manner.



  1. Evacuate the building if it is safe to do so.
  2. Visualize your escape route before beginning to move. Get out as quickly as possible.
  3. Avoid using elevators; the car may stop on an unsafe floor.
  4. Leave your belongings. Do not pick anything up and do not go back for anything.



  1. If evacuating the building safely is not possible, hide in a secure area.
  2. Seek shelter in the nearest classroom or other similarly protected area. If you work in an open common area or non-locking room, seek shelter in a locked office, classroom, closet, or restroom. If possible, do not seek shelter in any room with glass doors or walls.
  1. Lock or barricade doors from the inside if possible. Use all available room furnishings to help barricade the door.  If applicable, wrap a belt around the hydraulic door closure mechanism to prevent opening.
  1. Turn off lights and silence all electronic devices.
  2. STAY OUT OF SIGHT. Take a seated position on the floor next to an interior solid wall and out of view from the door window (if applicable).
  3. If you have a cell phone keep it on silent or vibrate. Monitor it for updated information from Cornell Tech via a TechALERT emergency message.
  4. Do not respond to a fire alarm during a lockdown unless imminent signs of fire are observed.
  5. Do not respond to directives to open the door or exit the room. You will only be released from the room by uniformed Campus Safety & Security personnel or the New York Police Department.



  1. As a last resort, if you cannot safely avoid or barricade yourself, it may be necessary to confront the threat by utilizing physical force.
  2. Look for anything that you can utilize as a weapon to defend yourself.
  3. Consider any objects that can be used to strike or be thrown at the assailant.
  4. If possible, attempt to have the element of surprise on your side.


Contact Authorities

  • Contact Campus Safety & Security Department at 646-971-3611.


What to Report (if known)

  1. Your specific location- including building name, address and office/room number.
  2. Number of people with you.
  3. Location, number and description of assailant(s).
  4. Number of people injured and types of injuries.
  5. Type of weapons used.
  6. If you can do so safely and quietly – stay on the line with the 911 operator.


Faculty / Staff

  1. Clear students from hallways and open areas immediately.
  2. Tell students to get down on the floor and up against an interior solid wall. Remain silent.
  3. If possible, account for all students. Document any non-class students sheltered in the room and any missing students.


Police Response

When the police respond to a report of an active shooter or armed assailant they do not initially know who these individuals are. When the police arrive, they will consider everyone as a potential threat. Therefore, when law enforcement arrives on scene:


  1. Listen to and follow all commands by police – stay calm.
  2. Don’t run towards police – move calmly and slowly.
  3. Keep your hands up, empty and visible – follow police instructions.
  4. Do not make any sudden or alarming movements.


When You Are Safe

Once you are out of the building and safe, follow the directives of first responders or Cornell Tech Officials. Let a family member or friend know you are safe


FBI active shooter training video