On Monday, loud shots echo through the hallways of the former Orange Blossom Mall in Fort Pierce. On this day, it serves as a training ground for St. Lucie County school resource deputies taking part in active shooter training.
Sheriff Ken Mascara says while they've been doing similar training for decades, it's especially important after what happened in Parkland.
"We're putting training together so it's a reflex. They don't even have to think about it. They know when they hear gunshots, their mission is to direct themselves toward the gunshots, identify the shooter and neutralize the shooter," said Sheriff Mascara.
For the student volunteers, this training is just as important. Members of the Fort Pierce Central High CERT team are on hand. CERT teaches students emergency response skills.
"If it were to happen for real, we're more prepared than we would be otherwise," said junior Tim Rossman.
The sheriff says he's had retired military members reach out offering to be embedded in schools, but his office is not ready for that at this point.
"The superintendent and I have both concluded that we would rather have our school resource deputies in our schools then taking on that responsibility at the current time," said Sheriff Mascara.
Scripps Only Content 2018