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Home arrow News arrow Local News arrow Drill brings teachers face-to-face with shooter scenario

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Drill brings teachers face-to-face with shooter scenario

La Grande Police Chief Brian Harvey, right, looks on as officers react to a gunman scenario in the active shooter drill on Tuesday at the Grande Ronde Academy.  (Tim Mustoe/ The Observer)
La Grande Police Chief Brian Harvey, right, looks on as officers react to a gunman scenario in the active shooter drill on Tuesday at the Grande Ronde Academy. (Tim Mustoe/ The Observer)
What would you do if you suddenly found yourself in an active shooter scenario?

Teachers and administrators at Grande Ronde Academy had to deal with that question head-on Tuesday as the La Grande Police Department ran an active shooter drill at the private school that has about 50 students enrolled.

“It does bring home the weaknesses we have,” 
La Grande Police Chief Brian Harvey told the school employees in a debriefing once the drill was over.

Teachers knew that an active shooter drill would take place Tuesday but were not told what time “the shooter” would enter the building. Students are not yet back to school, so no students were present when the drill occurred. 

Just after 1:30 p.m., teachers could be seen evacuating the school by Pioneer Park as they had been instructed to do in a training session on Monday. “The shooter,” who was played by Lt. Derick Reddington, had entered the school firing blanks. Officers, who acted as first responders, used “Simunition” bullets to take the shooter down. Simunition bullets are similar to those used in paintball, Harvey said, but they are much more accurate and hurt a bit more. 

To a passerby, the shocked and scared looks from the evacuating teachers could easily fool someone into thinking they were part of a real emergency situation. The teachers told police in the debriefing that their heart rates were still well above normal.

 
For the complete story, see Wednesday's edition of The Observer. 
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