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'Active shooter' drill held at Orange Park Mall

10:34 PM, May 1, 2013   |    comments
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ORANGE PARK, Fla. -- Law enforcement and rescue personnel prepared for the worst in Clay County on Wednesday night as they simulated a shooting at the Orange Park Mall.

More than 100 people worked into the night to help with the test of their response plan.

Two mobile command units were set up outside the mall to prepare for a real shooting event.

"There's panic, there's disarray, everyone's running," said Michael Mooney

It was a chaotic scene on the inside of the mall as the Clay County
Sheriff's Office, Clay County Fire and Rescue and the Clay County Division of Emergency Management planned their method of attack after shots were fired during the drill.

911 calls are coming in, people have been injured and some even shot after a disgruntled employee opens fire. While it's all a drill, Clay County law enforcement is treating this as a real shooting.

"They're going to be treating it just like in a true scenario breaking down the tactical team, clearing the hallway, evacuating people out." said John Ward of Clay County Emergency Management.

Three months of planning went into Wednesday night's
three-and-a-half hour active shooter drill. It's meant to test emergency plans and better communication between the mutal aid that would be called during a shooting.

In December 2012, a teen was arrested at the movie theater connected to the mall and charged with carrying a concealed firearm.

While no shots were fired, incidents like that underscore the importance of holding drills like this once or twice a year.

First Coast News

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