Full-scale active shooter drill shuts down parts of downtown Fort Worth

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Fort Worth law enforcement and emergency personnel trained for disaster Sunday.

The full scale exercise shut down streets near the convention center so emergency management could make it as close to real life as possible.

People in the surrounding downtown area were warned the gunshots and screams they might hear would not be real.

Fort Worth Police kept our camera back as first responders began the full scale active threat exercise.

An officer acted as an active shooter.

Volunteers pretended to be concert goers.

"People are lined up out here for a concert and an active attacker walks across the street and enters the building," said Bryce Davis, an emergency management officer. 

A city photographer captured the scene inside.

Brenda Wells is one of the people who signed up to play a victim.

"The shock value needs to be realistic for the first responders," said Wells. "So we had a lot of screaming and yelling and people running around."

Fort Worth officers went in with bright blue, fake guns that shoot blanks.

Firefighters and paramedics followed, carrying out the fake injured.

"Other people were shot around me and so we had to make sure we stopped bleeding, tried to take care of that person a little bit until first responders could get there," said Wells.

The people in the neon vests were there to evaluate, tasked with telling the team how they did, and what they could do better.

"It's kind of the way of the future and right now, the active threat incidents are prevalent," said Davis.

Davis says Fort Worth decided to start doing these full scale drills in February, around the time of the Parkland shooting.

They’ll now do two a year.

"We need to make sure that we're prepared and capable to respond to these events if this does happen here in the city," said Davis.

They plan to do another training exercise in the spring and one next fall.
Bryce points out that Fort Worth has a lot of big venues, like Texas Motor Speedway and the Stockyards, so the drills are critical.