Emergency Drill Held at Freeport High School

The Walton County Sheriff's Department has practiced the drill several times over the last two weeks. Making sure deputies know what to do in the event a student starts to shoot fellow students and teachers.

A Walton County Sheriff's deputy stands over a student who had just taken his own life following a shooting spree rampage. Deputies encounter more than one-dozen students in several classrooms who have been shot or who've been killed.

Even though it is just a drill, it is very realistic; to the deputies, time is of the essence.

"Fortunately, the shooter took care of himself, killed himself. These types of exercises are very important. I’m glad that we do them. It helps in the event of something real," Deputy Robert Gray with Walton Co. Sheriff's Dept. said.

In April 1999, two students at Columbine High School in Colorado randomly shoot and killed fellow students and teachers. In the last decade, that tragedy has authorities working on ways' to defuse any similar situation.

Sgt. Dennis Ward says, "These days it can happen anywhere. It's not just the large cities. We need to be prepared; nobody is immune from such a tragedy happening near them."

Authorities say it's most important to stop the shooter, because until that happens, emergency responders can't render aid to the injured.

“In the course we must neutralize the shooter; every eight seconds in such a situation someone is shot and killed. Until he's stopped, nothing else counts," says Sgt. Andrew Casavant.

Over the last two weeks, nearly every uniform personnel with the Walton County Sheriff's Department have been involved in the student shooting drills.

In any kind of school shooting situation, authorities’ stress the gunman must be stopped by whatever means possible before emergency responders can treat the wounded.


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