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Fire chief’s son at Dallas protest helped protect bystanders

Jeff Hood began waving a giant cross to move civilians away when bullets began to fly

DALLAS — When Rev. Jeff Hood heard gunfire, he sprung into action — a reflex he said comes from watching his fire chief dad serve and protect their community.

Hood was present at the Dallas protest last week, where five officers were left dead. Toward the end of the protest, Hood said he heard gunshots and, “As I looked up, two officers collapsed. The police officer next to me started running toward the situation.”

Hood said his father, Hall County (Ga.) Fire Chief Jeff Hood, instilled in him the ability to know how to react in emergency situations. “That training that I guess I got from my father kicked in, and I realized that there were 800 people behind me that were potential victims,” Hood said.

In order to push people away from the line of fire, Hood swung the 8-foot cross he was carrying, using it “like a shepherd’s staff.”

“For my entire upbringing, I’ve seen my father run into burning buildings and on some level even sit in burning buildings trying to help people,” Hood told the Gainesville Times.