Cooperstown holds active shooter training for officers one day after the Uvalde massacre

Just one day after the mass shooting in Uvalde, Texas, a small North Dakota community is staying prepared in case the same type of tragedy happens there.

Active shooter training at Griggs County Central High School in Cooperstown, North Dakota on Wednesday, May 25.
Nick Broadway / WDAY News
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COOPERSTOWN, N.D. — The starting gun for this training exercise comes from the man playing the role of the shooter charging through the doors of Griggs County Central High School. Shooting blanks into the ground, he runs through the halls shouting at the people inside while trying door handles.

Real officers run in, helping fake victims with injury makeup plastered on. EMS crews carry out the mock-wounded in droves, acting like it is the real deal. The acting shooter got cuffed in the gym, while other officers sweep every hall, closet and room.

It is a training exercise they spent months planning for. The goal is to get local officers and emergency workers properly prepared for a real shooting. In light of the mass shooting in Texas just one day prior, some ask if this is a good time.

"This is such a new normal part of our world, when would there be a good time?" replied Derek Hanson of Heartland Consulting. "We could reschedule this for two weeks down the road, and there might be another shooting event in that time."

About a dozen students took part. Each has their own role, be it acting a certain way, or simply doing nothing.


"So I get to lay down and say nothing," explained recent Griggs County Central graduate, Lane Kautzman.

He has makeup to simulate gunshot wounds on both sides of this body.

Sheriff Amberly Michaelis said making it look as real as possible is important — so if it actually happens, her officers have this training to revert to.

"As we know, this can happen anywhere," Sheriff Michaelis said. "That was what, a community of 10,000? Doesn't matter if you're 1,500. A million. It can happen anywhere."

Kautzman agrees, and said he is glad they are staying ready.

"Does make me feel a bit more comfortable knowing that we have practiced the scenario, so that if it were to happen, we would be more prepared," he said.

Heartland Consulting is teaming up with the Sheriff's Office for this training session.

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