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North Lake College Active Shooter 'Drill' Causes Panic


Irving, Texas. October 11, 2012

After hearing gunshots, North Lake College students, dove under their desks fearing for their lives.  Some were preparing for the worst; waiting for the "gunman" to come kill them.  Scared and unaware that this was a drill, they sent text messages to loved ones while others dialed 911 in desperation.

"We heard two gunshots and women screaming loudly," said Erin Culton, a student at North Lake College who spoke to WFAA News.

"I pulled a chair over me and was grabbing bags and building a fort over it," she said. "One student checked and said there was a shooter in the hall ... there was a woman around me crying."

Culton started texting her boyfriend, a state trooper: "Shots at school. Call police."

The school simulated a school shooting in the nursing building, but failed to notify staff members that it was fake.  Officials at the college said that they sent two emails notifications about the staged drill.  While active shooter drills are common on universities, the school's chief of police told local news station WFAA that the drill notification "did not specify that shots would be fired and that people would hear chaos."

According to North Lake College officials in Irving, the drill notification system will be reconsidered after causing the widespread panic.  No one at the school was taking responsibility for the lack of communication.


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