ALBANY, GA (WALB) - Albany Technical College has now joined several schools across Southwest Georgia in getting prepared for potential tragedy to strike.
Gunshots that rang from the parking lot at Albany Tech Friday morning were fake but the intensity of the situation felt real. The actor playing the active shooter began the college's drill there, then hauled his gun through the grass and into one of the buildings.
"It was kind of scary because it sounded like actual gunshots coming from the shotgun, said Dayne Leininger, Criminal Justice student. "It felt real."
Students and staff involved in the training were waiting in rooms on campus, screaming sometimes to add to the drama and tragedy of this type of situation.
The active shooter checked the building, door-to-door but never found any victims. The actor then simulated a suicide as law enforcement moved in. "When you have law enforcement officers and public safety officials supporting you in the endeavor, because they know things," said Dr. Anthony Parker, Albany Tech President. "They know about things in ways that we just don't understand."
Once the threat was clear, an alert came over the intercom and sent directly to student and staff phones. This is the first active shooter drill the school has held, joining Albany, Dougherty County first responders and school police. School officials hope this type of hands-on experience will help save lives if this type of danger ever strikes their campus.
"Knowing that this has happened at colleges and universities and K-12 institutions over the past 10 years or so, we want to be safe as we can," said Dr. Parker.
After the drill, all participants gathered to discuss what went wrong during the drill and how they can fix it before next year's drill. School officials say one of the issues they will address before next year is adding an alert speaker system outside of the building.
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