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Active Shooter: Law Enforcement Response

Response to most active shooter incidents will begin when law enforcement is notified with a 9-1-1 call.

Calling 9-1-1 – The dispatcher will ask for at least this information:

  • Your name
  • Location of the incident (be as specific as possible)
  • Number of shooters (if known)
  • Identification or description of shooter
  • Number of persons who may be involved
  • Your location
  • If you can’t speak, leave the line open so the dispatcher can listen to what is taking place

When law enforcement arrives:

  • Remain calm and follow instructions
  • Keep your hands visible at all times
  • Avoid pointing or yelling
  • If you know where the hostile intruder/active shooter is, tell the deputies/officers
  • Know that help for the injured is on its way
  • Do not leave until you have been instructed to do so by law enforcement

Law enforcement responding to an active shooter are trained in a procedure known as "rapid deployment" and will proceed immediately to the area in which shots were last heard.  The purpose of this response is to stop the shooting as quickly as possible, saving lives. The first deputies/officers to arrive will not stop to aid injured people.  Only after areas have been secured, rescue teams composed of additional deputies/officers and emergency medical personnel will treat and take injured persons to safety.

Please understand that deputies/officers will be treating everyone they encounter (including you) as possible suspects. Keep in mind that the entire area will be considered to be a crime scene.  Law enforcement will usually not let anyone leave until the situation is fully under control and all victims and witnesses have been identified.


Ramsey County Sheriff’s Office
Minnesota's First Law Enforcement Agency - Established 1849

Sheriff Matt Bostrom