Campus Safety - Armed Intruder Response

If an armed intruder comes on to Pierce College property it is very important that faculty, staff, students and visitors take self preservation actions, contact 911 and then Campus Safety. Pierce College Campus Safety recommends the following response.

Running
If you believe you can safely make it out of the area, then do so. If you decide to run, attempt to keep objects (columns, walls, trees, vehicles, trash cans, etc.) between you and the armed intruder. When away from immediate area of danger, summon help and warn others.

If you see an armed intruder and you are in an office or classroom

  1. If you cannot escape safely, remain in the classroom or office, immediately lock the door(s)   and barricade by moving any available items (heavy desks, file cabinets, equipment tables etc.) in front of the door. If the door is not lockable, find an alternative way to keep the door closed.  Use any available item to barricade the door.

  2. Turn off all audio and video equipment. Close blinds and curtains, if possible.

  3. Stay out of sight and be as quiet as possible.

  4. Call 9-911.
    • Alert dispatch of your specific location: City, Pierce College Site, Address, Building, and Room Number
    • Be prepared to provide an accurate description of the person or person(s). Note height, weight, gender, hair color, ethnic appearance, type and color of clothing and any other characteristics or physical items that are unique to the individual(s).
    • Report the type of weapon (if known) and direction of travel or building entered.
  5. Call Pierce College Campus Safety and report the above information after notifying 911.
    • Fort Steilacoom Campus Safety 253-964-6751
    • Puyallup Campus Safety 253-840-8481
  6. Keep the classroom or office secure until police or Campus Safety arrive and give further directions.

If you are caught in an open or exposed area and you cannot get into a classroom or office, you must decide upon a course of action:

Running
If you believe you can safely make it out of the area, then do so. If you decide to run, attempt to keep objects (columns, walls, trees, vehicles, trash cans, etc.) between you and the armed intruder. When away from immediate area of danger, summon help and warn others.

Hiding
Look for a safe hiding area where you are not visible. Once in place, remain calm and quiet. Stay hidden until you can make contact with emergency personnel or until you can safely evacuate the area. NOTE: The duck and cover response as in earthquakes is not an effective method of hiding from an armed intruder.

Playing Dead
Playing dead does not always fool the intruder and is not recommended by our local law enforcement agencies.

Fighting Back
If you are in close proximity of the intruder, the best option is to fight back. This response may be dangerous; however, it could be your best option in a life or death situation.

  • Fight dirty. Do whatever you need to impair or subdue the intruder. Pick up and wield any heavy object that is close at hand.
  • Aim for sensitive spots. Poke the intruder in the eyes; hit or kick the groin, nose, throat, or kidneys; scrape your foot hard against their shin; stomp on the top of their foot with your heel, or stomp out sideways into their knee. Effective weapons include your elbows, the heel of the palm, and your forehead (attack the intruder's face like heading a soccer ball). Your closed fist can be effectively used like a hammer, especially against the intruder's neck, nose, and ears, but don't throw punches - without training, you're more likely to break your hand than hurt the intruder.
  • Do the windmill. If the intruder grabs you or attempts to grab you, swing your arms wildly. This will make it difficult for them to maintain a hold on you.

If you are caught by the intruder and are not going to fight back, avoid eye contact, do not make any sudden moves or gestures and make every effort to remain calm.

Once emergency personnel have arrived and taken over the situation, obey all commands.

Printable version of the Armed Intruder Response.

Chris MacKersie
Director of Safety & Assistant Director of Facilities
253-912-3655

Shelley Miell
District Program Manager
253-864-3252

Fort Steilacoom

Campus Safety Office
9401 Farwest Drive SW
Cascade Building, C311
Office: (253) 964-6751

Office Hours:
M-W: 8 a.m. - 5 p.m.
Th: 10 a.m. - 5 p.m.
F: 8 a.m. - 5 p.m.

Benjamin Gomes
Sergeant-Supervisor
253-964-6258

Puyallup

Campus Safety Office
1601 39th Avenue SE
Gaspard Building, A117
Office: (253) 840-8481

Office Hours:
Mon - Thurs:
8 a.m. - noon
5 p.m. - 6 p.m.
7 p.m. - 8:10 p.m.

Maureen Rickertsen
Sergeant-Supervisor
253-840-8481