School shooting documentary aims to improve communications

A new documentary about the 2015 shooting at North Thurston High School centers around a hero and a lesson learned.

After a 2015 shooting at North Thurston High School, Brady Olson learned life is precious.

He and others hope the federal government will learn a different lesson from the shooting. A new documentary produced by the state, with federal grant funds, is trying to help spread the word.

Olson, a teacher from North Thurston, tackled a student who had just fired two shots from a .357 Magnum in the school’s commons.

No one was hurt.

But police and frantic parents who heard reports of the shooting feared the worst and had a hard time communicating off-campus, because communication lines were tied up.

“I think that’s a huge surprise when people hear that,” said Shelley Westall, executive producer of Shots Fired.

Washington OneNet, part of the state’s Office of Chief Information Office, produced the film with federal grant funding.

Westall hopes the film encourages the federal government to establish a broadband network for first responders to make it easier for police, firefighters, and paramedics to communicate on crime scenes and disaster sites.

Olson, who still teaches at North Thurston, said he thinks about the shooting every day.

He hopes the film will help something good come out of the shooting.

“I thought it was a really neat opportunity to make something very positive and maybe lasting, come from what happened to us,” said Olson.

Copyright 2017 KING


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