Of­fi­cer points gun at kids

Dis­trict: He did not know they were act­ing in shooter drill

Houston Chronicle - - CITY | STATE - By Ju­lian Gill STAFF WRITER ju­lian.gill@chron.com

A Bay­town DARE of­fi­cer briefly pointed his gun at two high school the­ater stu­dents who were act­ing as a gun­man and hostage dur­ing an emer­gency lock­down drill on the Clark El­e­men­tary cam­pus Wednesday, ac­cord­ing to of­fi­cials with Goose Creek Con­sol­i­dated ISD.

The of­fi­cer low­ered his weapon “al­most im­me­di­ately” when he re­al­ized it was a drill, dis­trict spokes­woman Beth Dom­browa said. No one was harmed dur­ing the se­conds-long in­ci­dent, she added.

“He’s a po­lice of­fi­cer,” she said. “He did what he was sup­posed to do.”

She said the of­fi­cer was on cam­pus that day to teach a class. He wasn’t aware of the sched­uled emer­gency drill when he heard on the in­ter­com that the cam­pus was be­ing placed on lock­down. He re­sponded like any of­fi­cer would, she said.

The male and fe­male high school stu­dents acted out the hostage sce­nario in the hall­way of Clark El­e­men­tary as stu­dents locked them­selves in their class­rooms, she said. The stu­dent “gun­man” was car­ry­ing a blue wooden replica hand­gun, but the of­fi­cer couldn’t see the fake gun at the time, Dom­browa said.

She said the dis­trict got per­mis­sion from stu­dent ac­tors’ par­ents be­fore the drill. The dis­trict also posted no­tices of the drill on its web­site, ran the no­tice in the Bay­town Sun and sent let­ters home to par­ents, she said.

She said this was at least the sec­ond year the dis­trict has hosted the emer­gency drills, and there may be ad­di­tional steps taken in the fu­ture to pre­vent any con­fu­sion.

“I sus­pect there will be some changes that come out of this,” she said, later adding, “We learn some­thing ev­ery time we do a drill, and that’s the pur­pose for do­ing them.”

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