A Colorado nurse filed suit against local police and her employer for emotional and mental distress after becoming an unknowing participant in a surprise active shooter drill, KUSA reported.
In the complaint, Michelle Meeker named the Carbondale Police Department and her former employer, Heritage Park Care Center, as defendants for what she claims was an unannounced training exercise that left her begging for her life.
On Oct. 13, 2013, Meeker was working at the care center in Carbondale when a man showed her a handgun and ordered her to follow him into a vacant room. The woman believed she was being taken hostage and pleaded for her life, only to later learn the entire ordeal was nothing but a training exercise.
The “gunman” turned out to be a police officer, and while Heritage Park Care Center was working with law enforcement to conduct the training, Meeker claims she was never informed.
“She is crying, she is begging for her life, she is telling him she has a young child at home – begging him not to hurt her,” said Meeker’s attorney.
Heritage Park Care Center was asked if they informed their residents and staff about the exercise, to which it responded:
“As part of our ongoing focus on safety, we routinely conduct training drills to prepare for various scenarios. We conducted one of these emergency preparedness exercises in conjunction with the local police department. We have become aware of a former employee who has filed a complaint related to the exercise.”
They later released a statement saying:
Because the safety of the residents, associates and their families at Heritage Park Care Center is our top priority, we conduct routine safety drills to prepare for any type of situation we might face. Recently, we conducted an armed intruder drill at our facility with the assistance of a trained, reputable safety consulting group. Local police had also been notified in advance and were on site during the drill. Unfortunately, the training exercise alarmed some at our facility. We have reassured everyone that the situation was safe and controlled. Heritage Park Care Center is not only committed to providing quality care to those in our community, but to also keeping our residents and associates safe. We are proud to be a member of this community, and we pledge to continue our quest for excellence.
Meeker claims she underwent severe emotional and mental distress and is suing for millions.
[ KUSA-TV ]