Smithfield- The church area of Harvest Fellowship Baptist Church was filled with volunteers and church members on Saturday, 11/17/18 as they got ready for an active shooter training drill session.
Yet in a matter of moments, chaos broke out around 13:05 when a simulated shooter came onto the premises and opened fire on the church in session, leaving mass destruction in his path. Moments after multiple shots rang out; the screams of potential shooting victims could be heard throughout the church. As officers with the Smithfield Police Department and Isle of Wight County Sheriff’s Department arrived on the scene; they find themselves involved with a young male firing a long rifle at them. The officers returned fire with the shooter and the shooter went down. After the shooter was secured, the officers entered the church to ensure the area safe for EMS crews to tend to any and all downed victims.
Smithfield Vol. Fire, Isle of Wight Vol. Rescue Squad, Carrollton Vol. Fire and the entire IWVRS EMT class arrived to treat those injuries based on the Mass Casualty Incident guidelines. Those injuries were depicted graphically through the creative efforts to make the scene look realistic. Twenty-one patients were processed with two individuals moved to Sentara Nightingale and VCU LifeEvac 3 helicopters. All patients were moved and processed within forty-two minutes.
This entire scene was scripted out for training purposes for the IWVRS EMT class and the unified teamwork between our Fire, EMS, and Law Enforcement. But the same scene has played out in real life all too often, and local authorities want to be prepared in the event the unthinkable happens here.