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Gainesville police educate public on active-shooter response
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An instructional video plays during the Civilian Response to Active Shooter Event put on by the Gainesville Police in Gainesville, on Thursday, April 5, 2018. The free event aims to teach citizens how to react in case they were faced with an active shooter situation. - photo by David Barnes

The shooting roughly 48 hours earlier at YouTube headquarters in California added to the list of recent examples in the presentation Thursday night in Gainesville on active shooter incidents.

Gainesville Police Cpl. Drew Reed mentioned the YouTube shooting along with incidents across the United States reaching back to the 1999 Columbine High School shooting, which “changed the way police respond to these situations,” the corporal said.

The shooting in Littleton, Colorado, killed 13 people. When police responded, the officers waited for the SWAT team to arrive.

Now officers go through the Advanced Law Enforcement Rapid Response Training from Texas State University. The Civilian Response to Active Shooter Event training was developed by the same group.

Toward the beginning of the program, Reed read the Georgia statute regarding the right to defend yourself.

“You have the right to defend yourself or a third party against death or great bodily injury or to stop the commission of a forcible felony,” Reed said.

The main lesson came in the “avoid, deny, defend” model, which teaches people to move away from the threat, create barriers and ultimately fight back. 

“There are two things you’ve got to remember if you choose to fight this person. No. 1 is you better be ready to die, because it may happen. No. 2, you better be ready to take another human’s life if you have to,” Reed said.

Two women wounded in the YouTube headquarters shooting were released Wednesday from a San Francisco hospital. The third victim, a 36-year-old man initially classified by hospital officials in critical condition, had his condition upgraded to fair on Thursday.

The suspect’s father, Ismail Aghdam, told the Bay Area News Group he warned police the day before the attack that his daughter was upset with how YouTube handled her videos and might be planning to go to its offices.

The company said Wednesday that it will increase security at its headquarters and offices around the world.

In the presentation, there were 179 active shooter events between 2000 and 2014.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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