JOPLIN, MO.--- Screaming sirens and desperate cries for help could be heard on Missouri Southern's campus this morning.
"We did a drill for a shooter on campus," says Patty Valencia, Mock Victim.
The Missouri Southern State University Police Department enlisted help from outside agencies to practice the university's emergency plan in the event of a school shooting.
"We asked Joplin police and Joplin fire to assist us today with this training exercise. The scenario is a violent person comes into a classroom with a weapon," says Ken Kennedy, University Police Chief, MSSU.
Officers say the drill was put in motion with a specific order in mind.
"That's what our goal is, to first stop the killing and stop the shooting that's going on, once we stop that, then we can start trying to clean up the mess," says Lt. Matt Stewart, Joplin Police Department.
Once the victims were out of the building they were brought to an on campus triage site, where the wounded were treated by emergency personnel and others were questioned by police. MSSU Police Chief Ken Kennedy says the drill was eye opening, and that it brought attention to a few shortfalls in the school's emergency response plan.
"We found that the health science building is really a dead zone, our radios didn't work very well in that building so we have to look at ways we can rectify that problem," says Kennedy.
It's a problem campus safety officials are already working to solve.
"What we're looking at is trying to find a way to put repeaters in the building so our cell phone services will work, and we can also put a repeater in there that will allow our radio system on campus to work," Bob Harrington, Mssu Emergency Operations Director.
University President Bruce Speck says these type of drills are a modern day necessity for educational institutions.
"We all know about the situations that have happened in our culture recently, so we have to make sure we are prepared for something that has happened so that we can protect our students, our faculty, our staff, and people that come on campus," says Speck, MSSU President. "It's one of those things that you have to build into what you are doing on a campus these days."
Officers say they were pleased with the outcome of today's drill. About 40 emergency responders participated in this drill which lasted about 30 minutes.