Members of the Southern University at New Orleans Volleyball Team were the victims. Joseph Thomas Jr., a Chemical Engineering sophomore, was the perpetrator. An alert went out that an active shooter was in the Maintenance Building. The next few moments were intense as Campus Police officers rushed to the scene to save the students and apprehend the shooter.
The scene looked and sounded authentic, but it was all an act — a scenario planned as part of the annual Active Shooter Training conducted by Campus Police Wednesday, August 6 from Noon to 4 p.m.
“This training is geared toward helping the officers hone their skill in this area,” Campus Police Chief Ira Thomas said. “We know that schools and universities are no longer the safe havens that they once were. Our effort here is to keep the campus safe.”
An active shooter is defined by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security as “an individual actively engaged in killing or attempting to kill people in a confined or populated area. In most cases active shooters use firearm(s) and there is no pattern or method to their selection of victims. These incident locations have often been described as soft targets, such as schools and universities, because they are open to the general public and security is usually limited.
SUNO’s Campus Police is committed to providing its officers with training that will aid them in efforts to be proactive in deterring, preventing and responding to critical incidents on campus.
During the training, officers participated in simulated scenarios, and utilized police vehicles with overhead lights and sirens while entering and leaving the Multipurpose Building and the Campus Police Headquarters.