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Lompoc police simulate school shooter on campus

Police, fire and school officials simulated a shooter on school grounds Tuesday.

School starts in less than a week and the group wanted to make sure they are ready for anything that might happen, including something as scary as an on-campus shooter.

The sound of gunshots could be heard across campus.

“I was scared. I started shaking,” said Alondra Martinez, a drill participant. “The rounds were really loud and I thought, ‘Oh my God.'”

It was a drill but it felt very real to some of the participants.

“It gave me the chills when I saw the shooter walk in the door,” said Ramon Hernandez.

This was an opportunity for the Lompoc police to train on what they would do if a real threat was on campus.

“We want to make sure that we’re prepared, hoping that none of this ever does happen in our city, but if it does, we want to be able to respond appropriately to it,” said Larry Ralston, the Lompoc police chief.

It was also a chance for the fire department to set up a triage center and care for the wounded.

“That’s something I hope I never have to go through and it’s very scary,” said Emmanuel Lopez, a drill participant.

Throughout the exercise, Lompoc school principals watched as injured students came out one by one.

“The biggest fear, absolutely. Parents leave their kids with us and they expect them to be safe so we take that very seriously and we want to do everything possible to keep them safe,” said Larry Boone, the Lompoc Valley principal.

After the drill, the police, fire department and school officials discussed what they learned. The school administrators will meet with their staff Friday to talk about safety plans for their campuses.

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