From seven to nine o'clock Wednesday morning, first responders gathered at the Midland Park Mall. But there wasn't an emergency - at least not a real one.
"They actually went through and simulated a shooting, and took out a bad guy, and after that, they're doing a walk-through the mall of the areas where anyone could hide," Midland emergency management coordinator Dale Little said.
The mall is required to perform an emergency exercise like this every year. It allows them to make sure that they have an effective plan in a crisis. But Midland Police say it's good practice for them as well.
"When agencies conduct drills like this, we tend to learn a little bit about deficiencies and some things we need to fix and work on so we're fully prepared for when there is a catastrophe that happens in areas where there is mass gatherings of people," Sgt. Pete Dehlinger of the Midland Police told NewsWest 9.
"We get to work with all the companies, all the organizations, just for instance the mall, that way, if something does happen, that way we're more prepared to come in here and assist," Little added.
The drills completed at 9 o'clock this morning, and the mall opened at its usual 10 o'clock time. Sgt. Dehlinger said that while while he doesn't expect a mass shooting to take place in Midland, they can never be too prepared.
"We always try to do these drills in places where we have mass gatherings of people. That's sort of what we want to do. It's not because we want to scare the public or anything, we just want to be prepared. We don't want anything bad to happen, we don't expect anything bad to happen, but if it does, we want to be prepared and ready to go at a moment's notice," Dehlinger said.