Gainesville, FL. (WCJB) -- The heavy police presence at Bradford Middle School this morning... was not a cause for concern.
the school had an active shooting training drill.
It's a situation nobody wants to happen, an active school shooter. However, training drills like these are important not only for law enforcement to learn how to practice eliminating the threat but also to coordinate what comes after these types of tragedies."
The drill was pre-planned and utilized a handful of students acting the part of the injured and dead.
Major Brad Smith is the Bradford County Undersheriff and he explained what simulation they had planned. "Today we had a single active shooter he was involved in the hallways, never went into any of the rooms but there were several students who were injured, various degrees of injury. Some of them were actually killed, some that had minor injuries so our medical personnel could go in and assess the situation and get the training as well."
The shooter was eliminated almost immediately after the "shots fired" call came in but it's what comes after the initial threat is over, like evacuation protocols, which requires practice to work smoothly.
Major Smith said, "after the active shooter is stopped there's still a lot of logistics that have to happen and lives that can be saved if we're training and preparing for those types of scenarios."
Assistant Superintendent for Bradford County Schools David Harris added, "just teaching them that we need to go out in a controlled environment with your hands up, palms open. You gotta leave your bags behind don't have your cell-phone in your hand because cell phones could be perceived as weapons in some cases and somebody might see that."
Bradford County actively uses guardians or armed administrators at their schools and they followed their training almost perfectly before the school's resource officer could even respond.
Harris said, "we have a number of guardians and all those guardians were put into play today and they were strategically placed throughout the school where they would normally be. They didn't know where the shooter would be this morning and once they heard shots fired they responded and did an excellent job."
TV20's Landon Harrar reported "when all was said and done just like last years similar style drills it wasn't the responding law enforcement that took out the simulated shooter it was actually the guardians already inside the school and they did so in less than 60 seconds after hearing the initial gunshots.