LUBBOCK, TX (KCBD) - A gunman on the loose, shots fired and a bomb threat. Lubbock first responder's trained for these real life emergencies and more at Bennett Elementary School.
"We did hear what we thought was a gun shot," says Bennett Elementary teacher Dana Cooley. The gunman killed 15, "to see them laying there was uncomfortable and realizing it could happen," she adds.
It was all fake but for Cooley this drill was real. "It really makes you think how you would react if it really happened," says Cooley. Nearly 150 first responders worked to stop the terror at Bennett. They evacuated hostages, negotiated with and arrested the gunman. Officials say this training day helps them prepare for the worst, "it's during these exercises that we build relationships with emergency management directors, fire chiefs and police chiefs. If something does happen, we're familiar with everybody," says County Judge Tom Head.
Bennett teachers say they hope it never happens, but are prepared to take care of your child. "The first thing we have to do as teachers is stay calm and not panic," says 5th grade teacher Louis Garza.
"I have kids, and my mind would be there on them and I know if I'm doing my job I have confidence that their teacher will do their job," says Cooley.
A grant from the Department of Homeland Security made Wednesday's drill possible. Judge Tom Head says county agencies have trained in similar drills for about a decade and this particular one happens every five years.
©2009 KCBD NewsChannel 11. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.
It is a parent's worst nightmare. You drop your child off at school only to get a phone call. It happened at Columbine High School and at Virginia Tech, and Wednesday morning in a pretend training exercise it happened in Lubbock. NewsChannel 11's Ann Wyatt Little was there for this practice drill.