Shootings at schools have unfortunately become an all-too-real possibilty, and in the wake of major campus incidents, Texas A&M officials took steps today to make sure they were ready.
Around 2 p.m. Thursday, their attention turned to one building with one goal in mind: save lives, as representatives from all of Brazos County's first responder agencies descended upon the Glasscock Building for the drill.
In the hours that followed, police officers clad in bulletproof gear and armed with fake weapons moved into the building. Volunteers acting as victims were spread throughout the building. Wave after wave of officers moved through, bringing victims out as the minutes ticked away.
Ambulances arrived shortly thereafter and treated the "victims," many of whom were taken to area hospitals. Each had labels noting their "condition." Some were well, but concerned. Others would eventually die at the hospital due to their injuries.
The Brazos County Emergency Management Center was activated during the exercise, helping to coordinate efforts from off-site as the drill went forward.
Officials with the university are still doing debriefs for all aspects of this drill, everything from how quickly and properly the building was swept, to coordination with the hospitals where victims were taken.
The drill was based off a number of real incidents involving campus shootings, including the February spree at Northern Illinois University. That's where a gunman opened fire during a lecture in a large hall, killing five before turning the gun on himself.
Police there were on scene within minutes, and a campus lockdown was ordered shortly thereafter, according to a CNN report.
Like at NIU, A&M alerted students and staff through the Code Maroon system.