An Active Shooter Training Drill was held Saturday at Heritage Elementary School to prepare officers for when disaster strikes.
Tahlequah Police Chief Nate King was inside the school when two “suspects” entered and started shooting at “students.”
Dispatchers were notified of the “active shooters,” and officers raced to the school, where they ran inside, fully armed.
Fire and Rescue and ambulances were on the scene shortly and tended to the “injured.”
“It’s full-scale and not just cops; EMS is practicing, and so is the fire department,” said King. “We’re actually going to transport some to the hospital so the emergency rooms will receive them, and we’re going to put one on the helicopter and fly them in circles.”
Sgt. Bryan Qualls was one of the responding officers, and he said the initial call indicated there were active gunmen who were shooting at students.
“So, the School Resource Officer that was here — she went in first — and there was another SRO and he went in just right behind her,” said Qualls. “The first hallway in here, they engaged the two gunmen and they take a round and get shot and they go down. The two gunmen were still alive.”
The two suspects were "shot" by officers and ta total of five individuals ended up being “killed” in the drill.
“Three students and the two suspects is how we staged it,” said King. “We had semi-automatic weapons and air soft guns.”
Present were officers and crews with the Tahlequah Police Department, Tahlequah Fire Department, Tahlequah Emergency Management, Cherokee County Sheriff's Office, Northeastern State University Police Department, NSU Emergency Management, Northeastern Health System EMS, Cherokee Nation EMS, First Flight EMS, Cherokee Nation Marshals, and Cherokee Nation Emergency Management.