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An active shooter training drill took place at Boardman High School on Wednesday.
Several local law enforcment agencies responded to a mock call at the building. Approximately 150 students, faculty, and staff volunteered to act out the situation, which involved two active shooters that killed one person and injured four others. The training included how to track down the shooters and how to evacuate students and faculty safely.
The police departments and school administration used the drill to learn from their mistakes.
“We wanted to make our mistakes. We wanted to make and identify our weaknesses, and where we fell down,” said Boardman Police Chief Jack Nichols.
The training started just before 9:30 a.m. The drill involved two shooters who forced their way into the school.
Within minutes, the principal put the school on lockdown, but he was the first mock victim.
“Probably a bigger surprise to the assistant principals. I was laying there. I could hear them calling me. They couldn’t figure out why I wasn’t answering. We never thought about a second shooter, someone coming through the main office,” said Boardman High School Principal Tim Saxton.
Crews started arriving on scene as students evacuated the building.
“We opened up the window after we barricaded the door and we slid through and were able to escape out,” said Boardman High School senior Anthony Calautti.
Several others were injured and plot twists were thrown into individual situations.
“It was a big test on the lockdown procedures. I had incidents take place in the classroom. I had a teacher who went down with an apparent heart attack,” said Donald Fisher, the consultant who wrote the scenario.
“We knew it was a drill, but as soon as the victim started screaming it kind of made my stomach drop,” said senior Michael Shobel.
“It got really intense and there was a very tension filled environment. It was very scary,” said senior Mikel Zeidenstein.
Organizers said the incident was handled well. Everyone involved attended a debriefing session to critique the situation.