Maybe you missed this. Maybe you’ll wish you had, especially if you’re still coming to terms with what happened in Sandy Hook, Conn. just a few weeks ago.
Bear that in mind before proceeding to watch the unsettling how-to-survive-a-shooting video above, crafted by Alabama’s Department of Homeland Security and ominously titled “RUN HIDE FIGHT” — a reference to the steps, in that order, DHS advises you take if you’re ever confronted by a shooter.
In the video, a buff Vin Diesel lookalike — donning an all-black wardrobe right up to his darkened shades — casually walks into an office building, pulls a shotgun from his backpack and proceeds to calmly shoot people point-blank.
“If you were ever to find yourself in the middle of an active shooter event, your survival may depend on whether or not you have a plan,” says the narrator as the shootings continue and the director cuts to frightened people hearing the shots from other locations. The rest of the video illustrates those three steps, showing people escaping the area, hiding from the shooter and eventually attempting to take him down with improvised weaponry.
It’s a hyper-realistic scenario, especially shocking as the nation struggles to come to grips with last month’s mass shooting in Newtown, Conn. that took the lives of 27 people, including 20 young children. But the video wasn’t made in response to the Dec. 14 elementary school shooting — it was coincidentally published to YouTube by Alabama DHS on Nov. 5. According to Alabama governor spokesperson Jeremy King, the whole thing was originally put together by the Houston Police Department, and the introduction by Alabama DHS director Spencer Collier was added afterward.
In fact the video without the Alabama intro was originally released in Houston, Texas just three days after the July 20 Aurora, Colorado movie theater shooting in which 12 people were killed and 58 wounded. “Our thoughts and prayers are with the victims of Aurora’s tragic shooting, along with their friends, family and community,” wrote Houston Mayor Annise Parker at the time. “I can’t imagine the horror and grief. If it is at all possible for any good to come out of it, perhaps it can be letting people know the options to consider if it happens again.”