VIRGINIA BEACH—Police, fire and other first responders took part in an active shooter drill Saturday.
It was high drama at Corporate Landing Middle school, with an explosion sound signaling two shooters were attacking.
“What they have utilized is they dropped a pipe bomb at the corner of the school. They came around in their van, jumped into the school, and they are moving through the school at a rapid pace,” Erin Sutton, emergency planner, explained.
Dispatchers and officers didn’t know this was a drill until they arrived. This isn’t the first time Virginia Beach has done this. “We’ve been running these all year. This is the first time we’ve told anybody that we are involved in this kind of training. We have a great working relationship with the school system,” police Chief Jim Cervera said.
The radios reported one of the shooters was deceased inside. However, the other one came outside and was quickly apprehended by police. State officials watched along with other agency representatives on a big screen indoors.
“Chief Cervera and I met together. We thought the best use of homeland security dollars was active shooter exercises,” Terry Suit, Secretary of Veteran Affairs and Homeland security remarked.
Team training is what these critical incident response assessment training exercises are all about.
“They can drill independently. But unless they drill like this, the coordination of the response doesn’t get tested,” Virginia Secretary of Public safety Marla Decker said.