Proactive, Not Reactive

Protect yourself against a school shooter situation


Brian Delgado

A police motorcycle and a vehicle parked at the Public Safety lot.

Isaac Gutierrez and Amairani Hernandez

With school shootings seemingly an unfortunate norm, it is imperative to educate the public on basic safety procedures. 

Over the past two weeks, there have been three non-credible threats made to Cal State LA: a phone call, an alleged rumor and threatening graffiti found on a restroom wall. 

“If a shooting were to happen right now, I would panic. I wouldn’t know what to do,” said junior Michael Martin.

Two university employees, trained by campus police, shared tips on what students should do during a school shooting. 

“The best way to survive a shooting is to mentally prepare ahead,” said trained expert Gabriel Moran. He added that students should know where the exits are in their classrooms and buildings.

As consultants for the ECST LINK open access lab located in the Engineering and Technology building, Moran and and Roy Chico are trained for active shooting safety.

Chico said students should lock and barricade the doors and windows. He also added it’s crucial that students turn off any lights to make the room seem vacant.

“You want to think like a shooter. If you’re the shooter and you see a dark room, you’re going to think nobody is there and go somewhere else,” Chico said. 

Moran and Chico both agreed that incapacitating the shooter is a last-resort option.  

According to the Gun Violence Archive (GVA), a non-profit corporation that documents gun-related violence in the U.S., as of Nov. 2, there have been 353 mass shootings this year alone. 

Jim Goodrich, the Assistant Director of the Anna Bing Arnold Children’s Center, spoke about his course of action during a lockdown and the drills he teaches students and staff alike.

“We have lockdown procedures. All of our classes lock from the inside… if we suspect something going on, we would go around and do a lockdown and have the teachers lock their rooms and pull down the shades,” said Goodrich. 

Goodrich added they have their own separate training from the Department of Public Safety. Police Lieutenant Valerie Caldera met with the staff on Aug. 12 to discuss the basic procedures done in an active shooting.

Moran said students should prioritize their own safety in an active shooting incident. Once they’re safe, they should immediately notify campus police by dialing 9-1-1 using a campus phone that is identified as a yellow pole with a blue light on top. These phones are located at various locations throughout campus. The caller will need to provide the operator with information about the incident and shooter.

More information on how to be prepared is available in a video by the California State University system: