Huntsville PD hosts active shooter training for community members

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HUNTSVILLE, Ala. - The Huntsville Police Department held a free active shooter response class at Bullet & Barrel, Tuesday afternoon.

This comes as the department continues to receive weekly requests for training across the city.

Gone are the days of Run, Hide and Fight. Instead, law enforcement is pushing Avoid, Deny and Defend.

Below is a quick recap of the lesson from the Huntsville Police Department:

Avoid = run away if possible. If you hear several shots, run! If you can't, try to stick to the shadows. Keep a low profile.

Deny = Don't allow the shooter to get to you. Block the door and shut off the lights if applicable. Remain out of sight.

Defend = Protect your life if you are in immediate danger. Use whatever you can. If you take things into your own hand, make sure you do so responsibly. Especially if non-suspects could be hurt or killed.

"They got a bunch of useful, helpful information and they feel a little more confident that they have tools to maybe survive an active shooter," said Officer Steven Graham of the Huntsville Police Department.

If you stop an active shooter, you need to realize you might be considered a suspect until police clear you.

"Toss the gun away from you. Get on your knees. Do the surrender pose. Because the police officers don't know whose the threat," said Meekel Buchannon, a resident who took the class.

27 residents sat through the class. HPD says they have classes as large as 100 people.

"They (the officers) reiterated, tonight we are citizens just like you. Absolutely they gave each person in the room tonight tools to save ourselves and our family," said one man in attendance.

HPD says if you ever find yourself calling 911 during an active shooter situation, it is best to give dispatchers facts. Do not try to guess or relate second-hand information.

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