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Roanoke man starts YouTube campaign promoting fighting active shooters

Tim Simmons talks about his Flight 93 Challenge. (Photo: Annie Andersen)

ROANOKE, Va. (WSET) -- Mass shootings like the one in Florida have many thinking about what they would do in an active shooter situation.

Roanoke's Tim Simmons is taking inspiration from the brave people onboard one of the planes hijacked by terrorists on September 11. He's calling it his Flight 93 Challenge.

In a YouTube video of the challenge, a group of people take down a man acting as an active shooter. The original video was directed by Simmons and shot at Platinum Cuts, a place Simmons goes weekly.

At the barber shop, there is just one door in the front and one in the back, so Simmons says that's why he thought this would be a good location for his Flight 93 challenge.

"It just seemed very logical to go toward the gunman were opposed to 30 people trying to run out the back door and just being slaughtered up against the wall," said Simmons.

He continued, "A gunman came in, they would be totally shocked that 30 people was running towards him, where he would probably drop the gun or run, or if nothing else, he'll be taken down."


But does law enforcement agree with his method? Sergeant Rick Garletts with Virginia State Police said only to a point. He explained, "It's ok to do if you've got no other avenue. You've got to try to stop the event from happening."

Garletts, who teaches civilian courses on active shooters, says fighting should be a last option during an active shooter situation. Best practices during an active shooter call for 'Run, Hide, Fight.'

"The first one is run. If you can get away from it, get away. If you can't get away, if somebody's coming down a hallway and you're stuck in a room, shut those doors, lock the doors, turn the lights out, turn the cell phones off," elaborated Garletts.

Simmons says he didn't talk to law enforcement about his plan- but still feels it's better than nothing.

He said, "I don't know if this is the right thing to do. I really don't. It's just the only thing I can come up with."

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