Successful Active Shooter Training at Rushmore Mall

By  | 

It's an event that law enforcement and retailers all geared up for.

Shannon Truax, acting as a civilian says, "My first thought was omg, what's going on? 9-1-1, somebody please explain this to me, and I knew what was going to happen."

Thanks to a joint effort between Rushmore Mall, Homeland Security and several state and local agencies, groups participated in three different scenarios for training on what to do, if and when an active shooter comes your way.

Lt. Elias Diaz of the Rapid City Police Dept. says, "They hear a gunshot and it's just an adrenaline rush."

People running, screaming, and dialing 9-1-1, just as they would in a real life situation.

Diaz continues, "Real time call-taking, calls for service, real time airing of the call, processing all of the information, trying to gather what the threat is and then communicating that to responding offers who were simulating their response with the tactics they would use in a normal response situation."

Mall retailers also taking notes on what they can do to keep their customers safe.

Katreeb says, "It just seemed so real. I almost forgot that it was even a scenario there for a moment. It's helpful to know what to do but boy it was definitely kind of terrifying."

Homeland Security says the exercises were set out to make people more aware of their surroundings and prompts them to do even more.

Jay Evenson of Homeland Security says, "What we're looking for is them is to prepare and then also as you start to hear now across the country, if you see something say something. I don't want people to be paranoid but when you walk in, where are the exits at, think about those kinds of things and so if something bad does happen, you've got an idea of which way to go to get out of a mall or out of a theater."

When it comes to the result of Thursday's active shooter training, all are convinced that the participants and law enforcement are ready to respond and do their part.

Lt. Diaz says, "In each scenario, all of the officers and deputies and troopers performed exceptionally. We were very pleased with the results and they all very effectively resolved the situation."