On the 19th anniversary of the Columbine school shootings in Colorado, Shadyside Middle and High School students took part in the school’s first active shooter drill.
Two men slipped in through the side door of the school.
“The scenario was, there were two active shooters that came into the school,” said Karli Bonar, teacher. “We went on lockdown right away.”
The two masked men supposedly shot three students, one who died, a second who was shot in the spine and a third, shot in the leg.
Those were the choice roles in the drama.
“I think they picked a few select people to be the bodies, I guess,” said Colton Adams, a junior at Shadyside High School.
They used cotton-tipped paintball wads.
“I knew they were shooting blanks, but you could tell it was real,” said Principal John Poilek. “You could tell they were firing guns.”
Some students got out one exit while the shooters were at the other end.
Other students hid in classrooms.
“They’re told not to be in sight of the door,” explained Jeff Loeffler, assistant chief of the Shadyside Police Department. “It’s lights out, stay out of sight and quiet.”
In the end, the shooters were caught and the students got a perfect score for their first ever active shooter drill.
“You can’t really prepare for a real-life, real-speed situation,” said Colton Adams. “But doing your best to get ready for stuff like that can really help.”
“It probably would’ve been terrifying,” said Payton Bommer, 7th grader. “It was really scary even when it was just a drill!”
“You can talk about it all you want, but whenever it’s actually happening, it seems real and it’s scary,” said the principal.