MANDEVILLE, LA (WVUE) - It was a grim scene in Mandeville Thursday as officials prepared for a possible active shooter at school.
Dozens of officers, administrators, firefighters and actors took part in the drill at Lakeshore High School.
There was an ominous sign at I-12 and Highway 1088, where dozens of law-enforcement officers waited for the drill to begin. With the highway shutdown, actors portraying gunmen arrived at Lakeshore. Within five minutes, a lockdown order was given.
Dozens of St. Tammany sheriffs deputies and first responders began arriving. Under the scenario, a school resource officer was inside helping assess the risk. Arriving officers then moved in quickly.
"This was not our SWAT team. These are guys on the street every day," said St. Tammany Sheriff Randy Smith.
Minutes later, student actors emerged from the building and start streaming out the front door, many acting as if they were wounded.
Within 15 minutes, one actor/shooter was apprehended and police shot the other two actors in Thursday's scenario.
"It took about an hour we had about 100 officers. This was on a downscale. Normally we have 1,000 students," said Smith.
The drill was witnessed by school administrators from across the parish hoping to learn the best ways to deal with such tragedies.
"Every school was represented. This was a great learning exercise," said St. Tammany Superintendent Trey Folse.
The training exercise comes two weeks after the school board voted to spend $4 million to place school resource officers and mental health counselors in every school.
"I'm really excited about that from a proactive view to try to prevent this from happening," said Folse.
School officials hope that enough school resource officers will be trained by the end of the year to have one in every school. Right now they are in every junior high and high school. School officials are also conducting assessments of perimeter security at each campus.