BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - The latest video to go viral online may help save lives. The video shows a high school love story. A teenage boy wanders through school, trading flirtatious messages with a secret admirer. You see him search and wonder all year who the girl is. When he finds her on the last day, there is a tragic twist to the tale. In the background, another student walks in and starts shooting.
While watching the young love play out, viewers probably missed what was going on in the background. In each scene, you can pick out a clearly troubled child showing signs he was planning something violent. It's those easily overlooked red flags that safety advocates believe can prevent mass shootings.
The PSA video was put out by Sandy Hook Promise, a group formed after the Sandy Hook Elementary school shooting. Their mission is to prevent mass shootings "by providing programs and practices that protect children from gun violence." Local law enforcement agrees that prevention starts with watching for any red flags.
"Especially our coworkers, you work around them every day. You know when something is wrong," said Lt. J.D. Leach with the Baton Rouge Police Department.
Leach teaches active shooter training, helping schools and businesses prepare for the worst. Leach says few people think about what they would do if they ever faced an active shooter situation, and unfortunately, that's a scenario that is more and more common.
The FBI reports that in 2014 and 2015, there were 40 active shooter cases nationwide, killing more than 92 people and hurting another 139. The Lafayette Theater shooting is included among those. Leach says surviving an active shooter situation comes down to preparation.
"We have a plan for fires, for hurricanes, for tornadoes, and floods. Active shooters? No, not so much. I think the problem is complacency," said Leach. The officer says the best chance for survival can be summed up by three things: run, hide, fight. The first and best option if gunfire erupts is to get out and call 911. If you can't escape, find a good place to hide. Leach says look for somewhere with a sturdy door that can be locked. The last resort is to fight back.
However, Leach also believes these situations can be prevented with awareness. Just like in the PSA, Leach says speaking up if you see something odd can be the difference between life and death.
"We have to get past this block where we're scared to say something. We have to say something because it could depend on whether lives are saved or not," said Leach.
The FBI and Sandy Hook Promise have several resources for speaking up, finding mental health help, and preparing for an active shooter. Find more information here: