Pasco deputies conduct active shooter exercise - WJBF-TV ABC 6 Augusta-Aiken

Pasco deputies conduct active shooter exercise

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Shane Masto Shane Masto

Pasco deputies spent the day training for a scenario they hope they never have to respond to: a gunman on a school campus.

Lt. James Law says active shooter training is invaluable.

"It could be someone who is upset at a teacher, a staff member, it could be someone who is upset at a student. Or it could be someone who has mental health issues or what have you and they're looking for a place where they can kill as many people as they can," said Law. "The important thing with this type of training, you start to build that muscle memory. When you get into a high stress situation you revert back to how you trained."

In Wednesday's exercise, a gunman had already shot two students at Fivay High School and was holding another hostage.

Deputies dressed in swat gear entered the second store hallway, and followed the screams for help. The screams led them to a restroom where they encountered and eliminated the shooter.

Investigators say school shootings have become all too common, and they therefore need to be prepared.

Shane Masto is a student at Arapahoe High School in Centennial, Colorado, the site of a shooting last December.

"We heard the gunshots go off and, at first, no one really knew what they were," said Masto. "A lot of people were crying in my classroom in particular, because we happened to be just down the hall from where the incident happened."

The rising senior says he believes quick action by law enforcement prevented further bloodshed in that case.

"There was law enforcement officers on the scene in under three minute," said Masto. "And, it was handled very well, everyone remained calm, and I was impressed by how law enforcement handled it, and how smoothly it went."

Pasco deputies say they routinely practice active shooter scenarios, but this is the first time they've trained in a school setting.

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