BELMONT COUNTY, Ohio (WTRF) – A volley of gunshots (from a gun firing blanks) rang out, and the exercise had begun.
Belmont County Chief Deputy James Zusack ran the drill and played the part of the shooter Friday morning.
He said he never comes in with a specific scenario, but just lets the actions play out naturally.
One person slumped on the floor outside the office, whispering that she was pretty sure she’d been killed in the drill. Middle and high school students left belongings where they were and followed protocols.
Law enforcement and EMTs from various Belmont County fire departments—including the deputy coroner—rushed in, subdued the shooter and loaded the injured on gurneys.
In the end, Principal Zac Shutler said the drills are helpful for everyone involved, and when they discover things that need tweaking, that’s the real value in them. The shooting scenario took only about five minutes, then students were debriefed in the gym.
Chief Zusack said they will do a training session with the elementary school later, with a stranger danger theme, rather than an active shooter drill.