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Augustana College Shooter Drill


Augustana College students, staff, and faculty were stuck in their workplaces for a couple of hours this morning. The school and first responders teamed up for an emergency exercise. The scenario was a professor bringing a gun to class and taking students hostage.

Spokeswoman Keri Rursch says the drill tested the Augustana's communication systems. The college uses text and email messages to notify students and employees.

"From my perspective, in communication it was important to test all the channels in which we communicate with students, campus, and the media."

More than 50 people worked in the Command Center, located in the basement of Founders Hall on the Rock Island campus. And 30 students volunteered during the drill. 

"I think its important to know that there are always surprises in a drill scenario and its part of the reason you do drills. There are things we learn every time, and in a few minutes we are heading to do a brief session where we will bring together all of those little surprises. Nothing big but just little bits of learning that we can take with us and get better for the next drill."
The drill began around 10:00 in a classroom on the third floor of the Olin building. A professor was holding students hostage at gunpoint because of a personal crisis. After negotiating with him, he surrendered and officers arrested him without incident.

Besides Augustana public safety workers, the Rock Island police and fire departments and county sheriff's office participated in today's emergency exercise.