"It was enlightening, I should say," said David Parks, a corporal in the Greenbrier Police Department. "It was a very good learning experience for everybody around here. I'm very glad actually we had multiple agencies here, so they could get a feel for our school."
Half a dozen agencies participated in the simulation. Officers traded in their live ammo for training rounds and donned protective face gear.
Several volunteers were waiting inside the school, one posing as the gunman and the others as students. The gunman was armed with the same type of training gun used by police, and loaded with simunitions, bullets tipped with paint balls.
It wasn't all crash, bang, boom when police entered they school. They made a thorough search through hallways and classrooms.
"But as we're going through, we're communicating with each other, feeling a little more comfortable," Parks said, "And all of a sudden, boom! We've got the shooter with another person."
In the end, officers are able to talk the gunman down, and he surrenders his weapon. A possible scenario, or maybe just a volunteer who decided he's rather not meet the business end of a dozen paint rounds. Parks knows how painful that can be.
"Have you ever been thumped really hard with a fat finger?" the corporal asks. "Don't do it, because this is worse."
A simulated exercise, Parks says, with very real implications.
"It was pretty real. I enjoyed the two teenagers that they had out here doing it, because they did a very good job, making it as real as possible for us."