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River Falls High School 'shooter drill' is over

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A two-hour school safety drill that simulated a couple of intruders, one who fired two blank shots, inside the high school ended a short while ago Thursday morning, April 12. East/west traffic along Cemetery Road outside the high school was slowed as students were slowly evacuated across the street to the Wildcat Centre hockey rink.

The drill affected more than 700 students and staff in the school.

Once the male and female intruders, described as angry parents who were yelling for a teacher, left the office area, the school went into lockdown mode for all classrooms.

A Pierce County Sheriff's swat team drove in, entered and took control of the school, section by section, floor by floor.

Students were systematically cleared to leave. The intruders had been going around rattling classroom doors as if trying to get inside. One teacher was supposed to be shot and injured.

The training was held in conjunction with the River Falls police, ambulance and fire departments, sheriff's deputies and UW-River Falls police officers.

A Pierce County Sheriff's Command Truck was set up at the UWRF lab form at the corner of South Wasson and Cemetery Road.

Among those inside the truck and monitoring the role-playing scenario were School Superintendent Tom Westerhaus and High School Principal Elaine Baumann.

Students filed across the Cemetery Road, were checked off and accounted for, and then brought back to the school gym to wait until the end.

Just before 10:30 a.m. the training exercise concluded.

School and law enforcement officials will now assess how the drill was carried out.