For Stephen Mack students, Saturday was anything but a normal day at school. Instead of hitting the books, the kids hit the floor, participants of a mock shooting drill. The drill was filled with gunshots and alarms that for some seemed almost too real.
"I was over in the steps and a guy came over with a gun and he shot the gun and I was kind of near him, but other than that it was pretty ok," Chelsea DeMarv said.
Rockton police used the drill as a chance to complete training for rapid deployment. They and other agencies worked the hallways to find a shooter, and then rescue injured bodies. Teamwork and quick decision making were essential.
"The reality of it is there's not that many of us out there all at one time, so we rely on the agencies very heavily, so it's good to train that way too," Rockton Police Chief Steve Dickson said.
Students say after being in the heart of danger they now feel safer in their own building.
"Yeah, because if it ever happened again they'd be ready because the officers would show them what to do, and the officers are better too," Josh Erwin said.
"I feel a lot better about it because now I know what to do in a situation either when I get to high school or college," Alex Curry said.
Five years after the Columbine high school shootings, students and police say while a real shooting here locally is unlikely, they hope the drill proves you can never be prepared enough.
"I don't know, maybe it could happen, but if it ever did happen all the people who are here today would be much more prepared and we could help out the people around us," DeMarv said.
This is the first year the Rockton Police Department has done such a school shooting drill at Stephen Mack and Hononegah High School. Officers plan to carry out similar drills at other area schools in the future.