ARLINGTON, Texas (CBSDFW.COM) – Multiple law enforcement agencies worked with Mansfield ISD Wednesday, Oct. 6 to quickly lock down Timberview High School, sweep the campus, and reunite students with their families.
It’s a scenario both schools and police departments train for often.
“When you have an active shooter call at any of our schools, you’re going to have all the police departments respond,” said Assistant Chief Kevin Kolbye with the Arlington Police Department.
Even though this didn’t turn out to be a true active shooter situation, Kolbye says it’s clear all their practice paid off.
“I think there were a lot of good things we did, and there will be an after-action report that we’ll look at, what things could we have done better,” he said.
It all started with a classroom fight between the 18-year-old suspect and the 15-year-old who was shot.
Police say a Mansfield ISD officer was responding to the teacher’s cries for help when gunshots rang out. Dozens of officers from surrounding agencies then descended on the school, which immediately implemented its emergency plan.
“The school goes through the local procedures and practices of lockdown, and what that is is to lock our children in those classrooms,” said Kolbye. “If necessary, barricade themselves in there. Then it’s a slow, methodical process.”
The SWAT team went classroom by classroom making sure students were safe, even though police were confident the shooter had already fled campus.
“The way the events unfolded yesterday demonstrates how having a police officer on every campus makes a difference,” said Dr. Kimberley Cantu, the Mansfield ISD superintendent, in a video posted to the district’s website. “Our MISD officer was there and responded swiftly to the call, as did our Timberview High School and early college high school staff and students, and that danger was quickly contained.”
The district send CBS 11 the following statement:
MISD has a police officer at every campus (two at our five traditional high schools), which is why the response to the situation was handled swiftly and effectively, along with the incredible support provided by multiple law enforcement agencies. Out of an abundance of caution, extra officers will be on site at all Mansfield ISD campuses today.
Mansfield ISD is a continuous improvement district and is always looking for technologies and solutions to promote student staff security. There are several things to consider when talking about metal detectors, including the time it takes for children to be screened, the funnel it creates, the mass gathering that would then be outside, and the ways it could be bypassed later in the day.
Along with our Mansfield ISD Police Department, we are also equipped with a designated director of safety, security and threat management. We will continue to assess our protocols and processes and make the best decisions for the safety and security of students and staff.
We can’t discuss student records or details about ongoing investigations.
Law enforcement was increased on every campus Thursday as well. Arlington police are still working to figure out where the suspect got the gun used in the shooting and how he was able to get it into the school.
“We will do a very thorough investigation and hopefully come up with those answers,” said Kolbye.
Timberview doesn’t have metal detectors.