MARYWOOD UNIVERSITY -- Marywood University officials have taken steps to deal with the threat of gunman on campus after an incident there in October.
At the time of the incident in October, when there was a threat of a gunman on campus, students told Newswatch 16 that they were terrified when police swarmed the campus.
On Monday, the university held an active-shooter drill so that if a situation like that ever occurs, people will be prepared.
In the Learning Commons building on Marywood's campus, shots rang out, and people scattered, as a gunman ran around the building. This was all part of a demonstration to simulate a life-threatening attack. These drills have become more and more popular in light of recent mass shootings.
"The more we understand what to do and we think about it, script it in our minds and are aware of our surroundings, the better off we'll be," said Sister Mary Persico, Marywood President.
"Just the society that we're in right now, we need to be trained. It's keeping people on their toes, knowing what to do in an emergency," said Chief of Campus Safety Michael Pasqualicchio.
In October, police responded to a report of a potential gunman on campus. According to court papers, Marywood student Alex Barowski showed another student a handgun. Later, police found a dismantled AR-15 and 200 rounds of ammunition in his truck. That incident served as a wakeup call to many.
"Really, right here at home, that's an eye-opener," said Sgt. Thomas Carrol, Scranton SWAT. "What is good is that we're taking proactive steps to get ahead of the game. There's nothing saying it can't happen here. We're going to be prepared. Lackawanna County SWAT, Scranton police, special operations are driving that point home with Marywood University and it's nice to see."
One student recalls the shock of that October incident. He participated in the drill and says the simulation was beneficial.
"It was a little bit sporadic. Some people didn't know what to do, but it was clear with the presentation today that there are steps that are beginning to be put in place to take care of situations better," said John Ferraro.
This drill also tested Marywood's mobile messaging and public address systems. At the time of that October incident, many students complained that they were not immediately notified.