IUPUI holds active shooter drill

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The IUPUI campus held a drill Tuesday to prepare for an event they hope never happens.

The full-scale emergency preparedness exercise went through the motions of what to do in an active-shooter scenario - and it resembled a real-life campus scare a few months ago.

In March 2013, a student felt threatened after she saw a gun tucked inside a musical instrument case in the trunk of a car parked at a campus garage. That led to a campus lockdown and very concerned students, faculty and staff for a few hours. Police never found the person with that gun.

Like many universities, IUPUI has a strict zero-tolerance policy on guns. But on Tuesday, emergency personnel were practicing for that scary scenario of a gunman on campus.

Several members of the Indianapolis Fire Department, Metro Police, Indianapolis EMS and campus police are involved in the emergency response drill.

The premise? A shooter comes into a classroom and threatens students. Volunteers played roles to help emergency responders deal with a more realistic scene. One volunteer we talked with says what's happening inside is very real and helpful, even for him.

"Being in this experience, even as a victim, playing an actor, gives you an idea of what to do in these kids of situations. If there is a shooter, you want to get out of the building as quick as possible or barricade yourself in some place that they cannot physically get at you," said Joe Smiddie-Brush, CERT volunteer.

Regarding the March scare, police said they could have been clearer to students about what was happening, either through social media or campus email. The university said it was reviewing its procedures after that incident.