FAIRBURN, Ga. - Horrible tragedies like the one we're seeing in Las Vegas has police departments all over the country working to inform their communities about what they can do if they find themselves in an active shooter emergency. The Fairburn Police Department is one of many law enforcement agencies doing exactly that.
"Avoid, deny, defend... that's what we tell people to do if you find yourself in the middle of a mass shooting," Fairburn Police Deputy Chief Anthony Bazyldo said. "The first key is to try and avoid the shooter. If you're outside, then you run. A few hundred feet can make the difference in you surviving."
Deputy Chief Bazyldo said if you can’t avoid the shooter, then you must try to deny the shooter access to where you are.
"Turn off the lights, block the door, do whatever you can to not let the shooter in," Deputy Chief Bazyldo said.
A common misconception, police said, is staying in place, hiding or getting on the ground.
"Hide and hope is not the most effective way to survive because if the shooter finds you, you have no way to defend yourself," Deputy Chief Bazyldo said.
But police said there are times when you can’t avoid or deny the shooter access to your location.
"When that's the case then you have to defend yourself," Deputy Chief Bazyldo said, "Be quiet, don't stand in an area where the shooter can see you instead have everyone line the walls out of the shooter's sight and if you can grab the shooter's gun absolutely grab it."
Deputy Chief Bazyldo said it's also important to be aware of where the exits are.
"It doesn't matter if you are running to the gas station, going to the mall or a school, wherever you are, always be aware of the exits," Deputy Chief Bazyldo said. "Windows can also be an exit in emergency situations."
Deputy Chief Balyzado told FOX 5 if the public can remember these tips and share them with friends and loved ones it can be the difference between life and death.
"If we share this information and it saves one person's life, it was worth it," Deputy Chief Bazyldo said.