AUSTIN, Texas - It was a frightening scene of a gunman on the attack inside a Camp Mabry office building, but it wasn't real, only a training exercise.
"We did invite the challenge of a concealed handgun license holder which allows us a little bit more learning objective during this exercise," said Garrison Commander Maj. Aimie Tibbetts.
The simulated attack is an opportunity for members of the Texas Military Department to rehearse tactics with local and state responders as well as federal agents.
"It’s about communicating with each other. Different agencies have different policies, different language, different radio channels, so if you get together on the day of the event, and try to figure that out, you are behind the curve, so you have to get together ahead of time you have to have those conversations, and get through those obstacles, controlling our emotions is one of the many things that we do ass a police department," said APD Commander Jeff Greenwalt.
The training includes how to transition from stopping the shooting to stopping the bleeding. It’s a lesson not just for paramedics and firefighters.
"Having good training before we get there, employees taking their training classes serious on, stop the bleed. On to how to evacuate a building. How to protect themselves and survive an incident like this, because if we do that work upfront many more lives are going to be saved even before we get on scene," said Mikel Kane with ATCEMS.
The training exercise comes at a time when communities across the nation are calling for a change in law enforcement tactics. Some want more emphasis on things like de-escalation and command staff agrees.
"We are going to continue to incorporate that much more in our training objectives in the future, matter of fact, thank you," said Maj. Tibbetts.
Active shooter training has been going on at Camp Mabry for the past several years. They've escalated and been modified - especially after actual attacks at fort hood and at Naval Air Station Corpus Christi. The different training scenarios are drawn up by officials with the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission.
"If we look at active shooters, active attacks, everything that is going on, obviously within our nation, within our state, we can’t prepare enough for a situation like this," said TABC Sgt. Cris Martinez.
Evaluations will now begin, as well as planning for the next exercise.