active shooter


plural active shooters
: a person who is illegally using a firearm to kill or try to kill people especially in a public place : a person who is shooting at people
Stunned shoppers and mall employees initially mistook the sound of glass breaking for gunshots, leading to false rumors of an active shooter.Caitlin Antonios
active shooter drills

Examples of active shooter in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web There was no active shooter, and the mall reopened after about an hour. Phil Diehl, San Diego Union-Tribune, 4 Nov. 2023 The surrounding shopping mall was immediately locked down because of concerns about an active shooter and to look for victims. Phil Diehl, San Diego Union-Tribune, 4 Nov. 2023 Paul Englehart, who lives about 300 yards from the bowling alley on an adjacent street, says his 9-year-old son saw an alert about an active shooter while playing on his tablet and wanted to help protect his family. Samira Asma-Sadeque, Peoplemag, 26 Oct. 2023 Monk has been researching and providing training on countering the active shooter threat for more than 15 years, according to a news release. Arkansas Online, 23 Aug. 2023 Initial indications are that the shooting was not an active shooter and was not random — Chula Vista Police Department (@ChulaVistaPD) October 29, 2023 Reports from police initially indicated only one victim had been shot, a male who was wounded in his leg. Teri Figueroa, San Diego Union-Tribune, 29 Oct. 2023 On Wednesday, amid the active shooter situation, Androscoggin County issued a shelter-in-place advisory with schools, businesses and more closing in communities as far away as 50 miles from Lewiston. Abbey White, The Hollywood Reporter, 26 Oct. 2023 Weapon proficiency, campus security, when to use force, how to respond to an active shooter and the history of school shootings are covered. Sonia Rao, Dallas News, 3 Aug. 2023 Just this year, a study out of UC Davis found that mass and active shooters in California have distinct gun purchasing patterns. Owen Tucker-Smith, Los Angeles Times, 3 Aug. 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'active shooter.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

1999, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of active shooter was in 1999

Dictionary Entries Near active shooter

Cite this Entry

“Active shooter.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 3 Dec. 2023.

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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