Charleston Southern University holds live shooter drill on campus

NORTH CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - The North Charleston Police Department's SWAT team surrounded a building Friday morning on the campus of Charleston Southern University.

However, it wasn't a real emergency, it was practice.

"As we know, across the country these terrible situations occur and the university has to be prepared," said Charleston Southern University Director of Security Guy Van Horn.

The police department and the university's security team conducted a live shooter drill, complete with warning sirens and an emergency e mail sent out to students and employees.

The scenario involved a man with a gun, holding a hostage inside the Brewer Center.

With Charleston Southern's security team looking on, the North Charleston Police Department's SWAT team moved in, hoping to get the hostage out safely and the gunman to surrender.

"We train like this. we believe it's when, not if, so we want to train that way," explained North Charleston Police Capt. Joe Stephens. "To make that training sharp, obviously we throw in a few wrinkles and stuff like that so they don't get a complacent mindset. Oh, I'm going to search this building, it's over with. We don't want them to ever feel like that, because in a real life scenario it's not gonna be like that."

The exercise has a happy ending. First the hostage comes out of the building unharmed..

Then the gunman gives up.

Overall, the police are pleased with the exercise.

"There's things we can do better, let me put it that way," said Stephens.

They are hoping they won't have to come back for the real thing.

Under the Clary Act, all colleges in the country are required to hold a live school shooter drill once a year.

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