LMPD, city officials say they are pleased with emergency respons - WDRB 41 Louisville News

LMPD, city officials say they are pleased with emergency response to school shooting

Posted: Updated:
Mayor Greg Fischer and city officials discuss the city's response to a shooting at Fern Creek High School. Mayor Greg Fischer and city officials discuss the city's response to a shooting at Fern Creek High School.
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- City, school and law enforcement officials took time to analyze what happened at Fern Creek High School on Tuesday. Beyond sorting through the facts and processing how to move forward with Wednesday's school day, officials had to discuss what went right and what went wrong.

Parents' worst nightmares came true Tuesday and now it's time for the agencies to analyze how school officials and law enforcement responded to an active shooter scenario on a JCPS campus.

TIMELINE: 1 injured, 1 in custody after shooting at Fern Creek High School

Louisville Metro Police 

The Louisville Metro Police Department says the shooting at Fern Creek High school was a perfect example of cooperation between a number of agencies.

Police say they're pleased with how the crisis was handled, but there may be room for improvement.

"We have trained extensively in law enforcement throughout different agencies, both local and federal, for these types of incidents," said LMPD spokesman Phil Russell.

Russell says the training paid off on Tuesday. He says numerous agencies all worked well together.

"Certainly you can always look back to determine whether there are areas to improve," he said.

There are lingering questions.

For example, why the decision to evacuate the students to nearby Fern Creek Park, which turned out to be just a short distance from where the shooter was found. "We had officers in place in those locations should the gunman return, should there be a need for us to secure very quickly," said Russell.

Why were the students made to leave the school with their hands raised?

"Through research and analysis of other shootings and hostage situations, often times the shooters decide to immerse themselves within the population, so we need to make sure there's not a second shooter. We need to make sure evidence is not taken from the scene," he said.

Russell confirms the wounded student was not the intended target, but he will not say whether there was a connection to the gunman. He does say this was not a situation similar to Columbine.

"We know that it was a targeted event. It was an altercation between students. This was not a mass shooting, crazed gunman type of scenario," said Russell.

Despite what appeared to be chaos, Russell says the school's emergency plan worked well. "We'll be able to sit down and analyze that and be able to look back and see were all of these the best things. But, all in all, I think that was a fantastic response from first responders and fantastic response by Jefferson Co. Public Schools," said Russell.

A response that all hope is never needed again.


Mayor Fischer, city officials respond

Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer says he is pleased with the response by Louisville Metro Police and emergency officials after the shooting at Fern Creek Traditional High School Tuesday afternoon that left one person with non-life-threatening injuries.

"Our public safety team, working with JCPS, did quick, impactful, successful work," Fischer said. 

The comments came during a news conference given by Fischer, as well as various local officials, including Jefferson County Public Schools Superintendent Donna Hargens and representatives from LMPD and the Jefferson County Sheriff's Office.

"We prepare and train for incidents like these," Fischer said, "and we hope that they never happen."

Based on the response from emergency services Tuesday, Fischer said, "you could see that training came in handy."

Fischer said he visited the victim in the hospital Wednesday morning, and that he was doing very well. The teen is expected to make a full recovery.

He told the media that he understood that some parents with children at the school were upset that they weren't reunited with their children faster than they were yesterday, but he added that accounting for each of the students was a top priority.

For her part, Hargens told the media that she was proud of the way the students at the school handled the chaos, adding that, "no student deserves to be exposed to violence."

Hargens said, "I am very proud of our students, teachers and staff who remained calm, focused and brave during this challenging situation."


Deputy Chief Yvette Gentry of Louisville Metro Police also expressed satisfaction at the department's response, saying that the mission of getting students out safe, "was accomplished."

"We've experienced it now, we've been training for it for years, but now that it has happened here we'll take the lessons that we learned and we'll get better," Gentry said. 

Fischer said city officials, along with JCPS, will review the incident and look for any areas for improvement.

Related:

Classes resume at Fern Creek High School after shooting

CRAWFORD COMMENTARY | Fern Creek shooting raises questions, should spark wider discussion

Copyright 2014 WDRB News. All rights reserved.

Powered by Frankly
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2017 WDRB. All Rights Reserved. For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy, and Terms of Service, and Ad Choices.