LACKAWANNA COUNTY, Pa. — Emergency alarms rang through the speaker system across Marywood University's campus in Lackawanna County. It was part of active shooter training that the university planned.
Campus Safety Chief Michael Pasqualicchio says this training is done every year. This time, they wanted to run through an active shooter scenario in a dorm building with students inside.
"We want them to know what it sounds like in the room, so they know what it is and not to run out of the room, so giving that effect is what really want to get the message across," Pasqualicchio said.
Marywood officials notified students and faculty last week about the drill and sent out information on what to do during it.
We spoke with some students who received the text through the school's emergency alert system and were inside the building during the drill.
"We were actually so scared, and we were hiding. We turned the lights off. We were in the lounge, and it was really scary," said sophomore Maya Nuccio.
"I actually forgot, and I was supposed to be meeting someone here, but then we got the notification. I was like, 'Oh, that's scary,'" said sophomore Johanna Lettera.
Some students expressed concerns with elements of this training, including shooting blank rounds, but Marywood officials say they took those concerns into consideration.
"We gave them the option. We told them what time we were doing it. They know to leave the building if they didn't want to participate. We're not forcing anybody to participate," Pasqualicchio said.
Students said while it was intense being inside, they knew the drill was important.
"It sort of adds that real sense of it, and I'm happy we did it because it really helps everyone understand that this could happen," said junior Evan Gedrich.
"At least they know to shelter in place, try to hide and do anything they can to keep themselves safe, because that's who needs to be prepared the most, is the most unprepared," said junior Matthew Kelly.
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