Centerville police Officer John Davis advocates for the “run, hide, fight” emergency response strategy when people face dangerous threats. CORNELIUS FROLIK / STAFF

OSU used “run, hide, fight” model during attack

Public safety officials encourage action to protect against violent threat.

“Active shooter on campus. Run Hide Fight.”

That was the emergency alert Ohio State University students and staff received just before 10 a.m. Monday, minutes after an attack outside of Watts Hall on the university’s north campus.

A male suspect drove into a group of people and then exited his vehicle and started stabbing people with a butcher’s knife, police said.

The suspect was shot and killed by a police officer — who arrived at the scene within a minute of the crash — but about 11 people were wounded during the attack, though the injuries were not life-threatening, officials said.

OSU officials said they were thankful that the university’s safety responders — and emergency notification system — helped prevent the incident from being more serious than it was.

The OSU attack is a sad reminder that the public must to be prepared for random acts of violence at school, work and other public places and settings, public safety officials said.

“Run, hide, fight” is a strategy for surviving violent threats and attacks that is taught by Centerville police Officer John Davis, who is the police department’s public information officer.

The emergency-response model was popularized by a video created by the city of Houston, Texas, which was paid for using federal funds. Watch the YouTube video here. The clip has been viewed more than 5.4 million times.

People overwhelmingly know they should “stop, drop and roll” if their clothing catches fire. But Davis said he would like “run, hide, fight” to become just as ubiquitous as a safety lesson.

Citizens facing a threat should try to flee and call 911 when they are in a safe and secure place, officials said.

When escape is not possible, people should shelter in place by hiding in rooms or areas that can be locked or barricaded, or they should hide out of sight, possibly under furniture, desks or large objects, officials said.

But people also must be prepared to fight back, Davis said, using any kind of weapons they can improvise, like heavy objects, such as chairs, electronic equipment or a fire extinguisher.

“You can throw a chair or something, you can throw any number of things — the key to this is, you have to do something. You can’t just sit there and wait to be summarily executed,” Davis said. “Complacency is a huge problem we have in these situations.”

Centerville teaches a training program about how to respond to active threat situations. The presentation was developed by the Miami Valley Crime Prevention Association. People interested in arranging a class can contact the association at

“Over the past three years … we’ve taught well into thousands of people this class,” Davis said.

Thank you for reading the Dayton Daily News and for supporting local journalism. Subscribers: log in for access to your daily ePaper and premium newsletters.

Thank you for supporting in-depth local journalism with your subscription to the Dayton Daily News. Get more news when you want it with email newsletters just for subscribers. Sign up here.