IRVINE (CBSLA.com) — An active shooter drill organized by the Irvine Police Department at an elementary school took an unexpected turn on Wednesday when concerned people nearby were unaware that the drill was happening and called Irvine police to the scene.
That’s where the mix-up occurred, as officers responding to the scene were also unaware of the drill and arrived at the school with real weapons.
The drill was set up to simulate an emergency at Culverdale Elementary – an officer even used a red decoy gun – to train faculty for an emergency. No kids were on campus, as the school was not yet back in session.
But the police department apparently made it seem too real and concerned faculty at the school next door, Westpark Montessori School, called Irvine police.
Shortly after, Irvine police officers arrived at the elementary school with real weapons.
No shots were fired, but parents said they were concerned at the apparent lack of coordination at the police department.
“There was an actual person pretending to be a shooter with a gun, for a drill, but police didn’t know it was a drill. People could have been shot,” wrote the CBS2 viewer who tipped us off.
Now, the school district and police are making amends and saying it won’t happen again.
“The safety of students is our first and most important priority, which is why we regularly work with the Irvine Police Department to ensure staff and school sites are prepared in case of an emergency,” a spokesperson for the Irvine Unified School District said in a statement. “This is the first time any incident like this has happened. It’s a learning lesson.”
Deputy Irvine Police Chief Mike Hamel said in the future all surrounding locations will be notified of training exercises.