School bus held hostage for training exercise - Toledo News Now, News, Weather, Sports, Toledo, OH

School bus held hostage for training exercise

LAKE TOWNSHIP, OH (Toledo News Now) -

A Rossford school bus filled with students and staff members was taken hostage by a man armed with a gun. The hostages' hands were raised in the air, tied together. It was all part of a real-time training exercise at Owens Community College.

Students were told they were going to be part of a demonstration, or training exercise, but they didn't know it would be a hostage drill until it was already in progress.

"It scared us because we didn't think it was him, because he got on the bus wearing normal clothes," said Justin Klocko. "Then after five minutes of leaving, he started putting on a mask and a gun and a vest and he started tying everybody down to the chairs."

The gunman was an actor, but the students say the demonstration was a wake-up call about their safety.

"He tied my ankle to the seat and I was just thinking, ‘If I need to get out of this, how will I be able to?'" said Kathleen Hermes, one of the hostages.

A SWAT team surrounded the bus to take control. The exercise was broadcast to school staff members in real-time. The realization was that this could happen on any bus, at any time.

Students say they learned a life-saving lesson from police about the drill.

"[It] prepared us, like, to listen," Klocko said. "They told us not to be heroes."

Students say they should always be aware of what's going on around them, because now they know no place, even a school bus, is completely safe.

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