Reeves County Law Enforcement Prepares for Active Shooter at Hospital

Reeves County Law Enforcement Prepares for Active Shooter at Hospital

By Geena Martinez
NewsWest 9

REEVES COUNTY - SWAT Team members swarmed the Reeves County hospital on Thursday morning. The scene may have looked alarming but it was all just a drill. Officials were preparing for the possibility of an active shooter.

It's a day law enforcement officials say they hope never happens.

"You could probably interview every agency that's been through an active shooter and they probably said the same thing, 'It's not gonna happen to us.' Well we're not gonna take that stance," Pecos Police Chief, Clay McKinney, said.

On Thursday morning, Reeves County prepared for the worst.

SWAT team members ran inside after getting a call that the hospital was on code purple, an active shooter inside the building.

Although it was just a drill, the scenario was very real.

"We all gotta get prepared and ready for it, as well as the staff," Reeves County Sheriff, Art Granado, said. "They gotta be ready and know what to do in a situation like this."

With guns drawn, the SWAT team made a sweep of the hallways while hospital staff followed their own procedures and took cover.

"You step into an area and that door is closed and preferable even the lights are turned out because in active shooter situation, if they can't see you, they can't shoot at you," Venetta Seals, Public Relations Director for the hospital, said.

The first responders come across some victims. After 30 tense minutes, the all clear is given.

"The reason we do the drill is to find mistakes that we make prior to the actual event happening," McKinney said.

"We've had a few tense moments," Seals said. "Not anything like an active shooter but we have to be prepared for that."

Seals said they've already taken steps by installing protective glass barriers between staff and the public in certain areas.

Overall, officials said the drill was a success and they hope they never have to put their skills to the test.

"We always like to think it will not happen in our community but needless to say whether it's a hospital, a school or a business, it can happen anytime anywhere," Seals said.