Active Shooter Safety Resources
An active shooter is an individual actively engaged in killing or attempting to kill people in a populated area, and recent active shooter incidents have underscored the need for a coordinated response by law enforcement and others to save lives. The FBI is committed to working with its partners to protect schools, workplaces, houses of worship, transportation centers, other public gathering sites, and communities.
Although local and state law enforcement agencies are virtually always the first ones on the scene, the FBI has played a large role in supporting the response to every major incident in recent years and has much to offer in terms of capacity, expertise, specialized capabilities, training, and resources before and after an incident occurs. The successful prevention of these active shooter incidents lies with a wide range of public and private entities all working together.
To that end, the FBI provides operational, behaviorally-based threat assessment and threat management services to help detect and prevent acts of targeted violence, helping academic, mental health, business, community, law enforcement, and government entities recognize and disrupt potential active shooters who may be on a trajectory toward violence. The Bureau also continues its research to identify indicators that could signal potential violent intent.
FBI Jurisdiction in Active Shooter Incidents
Shortly after the tragic shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut in December 2012, the FBI sought ways its personnel could better assist its law enforcement partners. Two actions enhanced these efforts.
First, the Investigative Assistance for Violent Crimes Act of 2012, signed into law by the president in January 2013, permits the U.S. attorney general—at the request of appropriate state or local law enforcement personnel—to provide federal assistance during active shooter incidents and mass killings (defined by the law as three or more people) in public places. The attorney general delegated this responsibility to the FBI.
Second, working with other cabinet agencies, the FBI is finding ways to help prevent and respond to active shooters. A White House working group—consisting of the Department of Justice (DOJ), Department of Homeland Security, Department of Education, and Department of Health and Human Services—is part of a broader initiative, Now is the Time, undertaken after the Sandy Hook shootings. DOJ, led by the FBI, was specifically tasked with training law enforcement and other first responders to ensure that protocols for responding to active shooter situations are consistent across the country.
ALERRT/Other Training Initiatives
- The FBI and Texas State University offer Advanced Law Enforcement Rapid Response Training to law enforcement partners.
- The FBI also offers active shooter preparedness training to the public. Contact the Active Shooter Coordinator in your local FBI field office for more information.
Once an active shooter incident occurs, the FBI proactively assists state, local, campus, and tribal law enforcement first responders to supplement resources as needed. We can send multiple investigators to the scene, integrate into the command post, and/or mobilize and deploy evidence response teams, behavioral analysis and crisis management personnel, bomb technicians, SWAT teams, and experts in working with the news media. As appropriate, we may also establish a command post at FBI Headquarters composed of various operational and behavioral Bureau components.
Another essential part of our operational response is our victim assistance program. The FBI’s Victim Services Division (VSD), established in 2001, provides a variety of support services to victims/family members, first responders, investigative teams, and other operational elements. VSD assets available to support active shooter incidents include our field office victim specialists and members of our Victim Assistance Rapid Deployment Team from around the country, who are specially trained to handle mass casualty incidents.
- Active Shooter Incidents in the United States in 2021
- Active Shooter Incidents in the United States in 2020
- Active Shooter Incidents 20-Year Review, 2000-2019
- Past Active Shooter Reports: 2019 | 2018 | 2016 & 2017 | 2014 & 2015 | 2000 - 2013
- Active Shooter Incidents: Topical One-Pagers, 2000-2018
- Making Prevention a Reality: Identifying, Assessing, and Managing the Threat of Targeted Attacks
- A Study of the Pre-Attack Behaviors of Active Shooters in the United States Between 2000 and 2013
- Quick Reference Guide: A Study of the Pre-Attack Behaviors of Active Shooters in the United States Between 2000 and 2013
- Active Shooter Incidents in the United States from 2000 to 2018 (List)
- Quick Look: 277 Active Shooter Incidents in the United States from 2000 to 2018 (Graphics)
- Heat Map: Active Shooter Incidents 2000-2018
- Heat Map: Active Shooter Incidents 2014-2018
- Active Shooter Study: Quick Reference Guide (pdf)
- Active Shooter Event: Quick Reference Guide (pdf) | Spanish version
- Developing Emergency Operations Plans: A Guide for Businesses
- Law Enforcement Bulletin: Active Shooter Events: 2000-2012
- Law Enforcement Bulletin: Addressing the Problem of the Active Shooter
- Law Enforcement Bulletin: Workplace Violence Prevention
- Campus Attacks
- Violence Prevention in Schools
- Arapahoe High School Shooting Report (pdf)
- Critical Incident Review of Orlando Nightclub Attack
- DHS Countering Violent Extremism/Active Shooter
- Developing Emergency Operations Plans for Schools
- Developing Emergency Plans for Institutions of Higher Learning
- Developing Emergency Plans for Houses of Worship
- FERPA Guidance (pdf) | Spanish version
- HIPAA Guidance (pdf) | Spanish version
- Planning and Response in a Health Care Setting (pdf)
- Incorporating Active Shooter Planning into Health Care Facility Emergency Plans
- Sandy Hook Advisory Commission Final Report (pdf)
- Applying Counterterrorism Tools to Prevent Acts of Targeted Violence (IACP)
The reports listed below were not authored by the FBI, but links to the reports are being provided for general public information.
- Washington, D.C. Navy Yard shootings, 9/16/13
Internal Review of the Washington Navy Yard Shooting: A Report to the Secretary of Defense, Department of Defense
- Sandy Hook Elementary School shootings, Newtown, Connecticut, 12/13/12
Sandy Hook Elementary School Shootings Reports, Connecticut State Police