Metro police conduct large-scale active shooter drill at Las Veg - FOX5 Vegas - KVVU

Metro police conduct large-scale active shooter drill at Las Vegas high school

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There was an active shooter drill at Shadow Ridge High School on Wednesday morning.

Students at Shadow Ridge volunteered to play the victims. The drill was put on by Las Vegas and CCSD police, the fire department and the FBI.

Sheriff Joe Lombardo said this was not a knee-jerk reaction to 1 October or the Parkland, Florida school shooting. Rather, emergency crews do drills like this regularly. Wednesday’s drill was the biggest of its kind.

It started with a flash bang in the parking lot. And in less than a minute, school police and the fire department responded. Then, seconds later, gunshots rang out inside the school. Students ran out to safety.

It’s only a drill, but the scenario is putting law enforcement and emergency crews to the test.

“Test those gaps, identify them so that in a real scenario, we already identified those issues,” Lombardo said.

Students inside were all volunteers. They weren’t told where the gunman was or when the shooting would start.

“My first instinct was to get down,” Vincent Hiscocks said.

“The minute I heard the first blank, I got down on my hands and knees and got down under the table,” Jenna Elkins said.

“I actually ended up running out in a panic. It was intense,” Natalie Cefoldo said.

“I started crying and breaking down. And in real life, I would've done that,” Isabella Martinez said.

Students said the entire situation and the way police responded felt like the real thing.

“One of them walked past me, looked at me and saw I was injured,” Martinez said. “He said ‘Don't worry, medical is on the way,’ so it was nice to see they weren't just in there to get the gunman. They also wanted to make sure we were safe too.”

“My heart was racing,” volunteer Christian Lopez said. "I remember what happened in October. It just felt really real.”

In less than half an hour, the gunman was arrested. Students said this was not only a good test for police, but also for themselves.

“I already look for the exits if I’m in certain classrooms,” Martinez said.

Students added from now on, they will always make an exit plan.

“It’s terrifying the fact that this is the way we have to grow up, this is our life now,” Elkins said.

All of the agencies involved will now get together and debrief to figure out what went right and what went wrong.

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