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Photos: Police Practice Active Shooter Situation at Newport School

Students were ushered out of the building with their hands up, wounded victims lay on the ground, and two shooters were sought at Newport Central Catholic High School.

Thursday night drew a swarm of police officers and other emergency responders to the surrounding area on Thursday night.

There was not an actual school shooting.

But, the Newport Police Department and its partner agencies want to be prepared should such an event take place in the city.

For months, Chief Tom Collins, Lieutenant Chris Fangman, and others worked to orchestrate a real-life simulation as the departments prepared for what has become an all-too common occurrence at American campuses.

Officers in SWAT gear stormed the school and sharp shooters took to the roof as one "shooter" holed up in a classroom and antagonized officers through phone communication.

The scenario ended with at least nine "victims", both shooters subdued, including one by a bullet.

"Fifteen years ago when I started, you would just have SWAT teams preparing for this but we can all reflect back on things like Columbine when law enforcement were waiting to go inside," said Fangman. "We learned a lot from each incident and with all that knowledge, we learned that we need our first responders, our officers on the street to make their way in as soon as they hear shots fired.

"There's no time to wait."

Fangman said that all the officers now train as if their own children were inside.

No actual students from Newport Catholic were used so as to spare them from any potential trauma from the experience.

Instead, volunteers from the area participated as actors in the drill.

Story & photos by Michael Monks, editor & publisher

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