Boardman High School conducts mock active shooter drill - 21 News Now, More Local News for Youngstown, Ohio -

Boardman High School conducts mock active shooter drill

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BOARDMAN, Ohio – There were some dramatic moments at Boardman High School on Wednesday morning as more than 60 law enforcement officers, federal agents and other first responders converged on the building with lights and sirens.

It was all part of a strategically planned mock active shooter drill.

The 911 call went out just after 9:15 a.m. Shots had been fired inside Boardman High School by two armed intruders.

Police, deputies, FBI Agents and a SWAT Team raced to the scene, all determined to get the children and teachers inside the school to safety. And in the middle of all of the chaos there were parents who raced to the building to get their children.

Wednesday's dramatic scene was just a drill. But Boardman is determined to be ready if they're ever faced with the real thing.

"The reason we did this is we wanted to make our mistakes. We wanted to make and identify our weaknesses and where we fell down. So with that in mind it was a success because we did make some mistakes and we're going to be discussing that," said Boardman Police Chief Jack Nicholas.

As simulated gun shots erupted in the halls, officers first on the scene moved in with guns drawn. They found students and staff injured, but they first needed to neutralize the threat.

"That's the first thing to do is neutralize the shooter. Then take care of the wounded and evacuate them. The third part is to evacuate the kids that are in the lockdown," said Captain Donald Hawkins from the Boardman Police Department.

In this mock shooting scenario, Boardman High School Principal Tim Saxton locked down the school and then was shot in the first 60 seconds by a female gunman that would quickly be taken into custody by police.

But the staff and administrators now left without a principal were faced with something they weren't prepared for.

"We never thought about a second shooter, someone coming through the main office. So it put a real strain on the high school command structure because those guys all of a sudden had to do some thinking. We never thought that would happen," said Boardman High School Principal Tim Saxton.

The consultant who created the scenario says it's all about assessing the threat and your vulnerability to make sure you're prepared in a crisis.

Students who volunteered said the drill seemed all too real at one point. Three seniors escaped through windows after following the school lockdown policy to barricade themselves in the classroom and they felt it was effective.

"I feel they would be sidetracked by all the stuff in front of the door. So i feel that could save lives," said Boardman senior Michael Shobel.

After the drill was completed, law enforcement officers, students and school staff, with help from the police lieutenant that was in command during the Chardon tragedy, talked about what they learned and how they'll improve their crisis plan to keep schools safe.

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