FORT SILL, OK (KSWO) - An active-shooter exercise was held at Fort Sill to get officers training on how to keep children and teachers safe in the event of a school shooting.
For the mock shooting, officers responded to reports of an active shooter in the school where several children were dead or injured. Police entered the school, secured both the building and the shooter and began helping those affected as if it were a real-life situation.
There were actual students and teachers from Lawton and Fort Sill inside the school acting as if they had been hurt or killed by the shooter. For the scenario, there were 5 people killed and twenty injured by the shooter, who ultimately committed suicide.
Kids and teachers laid down in a classroom, pretending to have a variety of injuries as police assisted them as quickly as they could. Police also secured the building and shooter, who was put into handcuffs to ensure he was secure despite being dead.
Sadie Hollebeke is a 3rd grader at a Lawton elementary school who played one of the children who was shot in the exercise today. She says she fully realizes how important it is for her to know exactly what to do in a bad situation.
"I was pretending like I got shot and yelling for help. You never know when an intruder is going to come into school and shoot people, so you want to know how to do that," said Hollebeke.
The exercise has been in the works for nearly a year and was particularly important with everything going on all around the world.
"I think there's just a general awareness given what's taken place the last couple of months, even despite the insulation associated with being on a military installation, there's always a chance it can happen and it's always good to practice it. Not only for the school, but for the installation activities need to know how to respond too," said James Carney, the leader of the exercise.
There were 75 total actors portraying teachers and students, as well as parents who were trying to get into the school trying to get to their children. Carney says the exercise was aimed at helping those actors and not just the emergency workers.
"I hope they learn what it is they're supposed to do when something like this happens and I think from that if there's something that pops up that we didn't plan for or didn't execute properly, we collect our shortfalls and then work on those to fix that," Carney explained.
Hollebeke says she did learn something from it.
"I guess I sort of learned to be safe when an intruder comes and if you get shot just yell for help until someone comes, tell someone to call 911," Hollebeke said.
The training was conducted by Fort Sill personnel but that doesn't mean it will only help those on post. I was told if a school shooting were to take place in Lawton, they would be involved with the response in some way.
The training involved everyone on post, from those working the gates to those simply asked to stay safe in their homes, but they elected not to bring ambulances that would in a real-life scenario take the wounded to a hospital.