A short documentary about courage, communications, and resilience in the face of a school shooting

What Happened?

Just before school was about to start on the morning of April 27, 2015, a student walked down a flight of stairs from the second floor into the Commons, an area teaming with North Thurston High School (NTHS) students. The student had a .357 Magnum revolver in one hand. He raised the gun and fired into the ceiling. Chaos erupted. A teacher saw the shooter. So did the principal. The student fired a second shot. What happened next is the best case scenario in the face of such terror.

SHOTS FIRED is a filmic case study of what worked well and what could have worked better from a communications technology standpoint in dealing with a critical incident.

Why make this film?

In the aftermath of the 9/11 attacks, Congress recognized the need for a nationwide interoperable communications system dedicated to public safety. Hard to imagine such a system does not already exist. Nearly 3000 victims died in the September 11 attacks on the World Trade Center in 2001. Among them were 343 firefighters and 23 New York City police officers. Why did so many more firefighters die? They didn’t get the command to evacuate the collapsing towers. They were on a different communications frequency than law enforcement.

Washington OneNet is our state program office working with the federal First Responder Network Authority (FirstNet) to design a nationwide wireless broadband network dedicated to public safety.

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Superintendent of the Tumwater School District

At the time of the shooting Mr. Bash was North Thurston Public Schools Deputy Director. He is now the Superintendent of the Tumwater School District.

Image of John Bash

School Resource Officer

Officer McClanahan was on site when the shooting occurred and helped apprehend the shooter

Image of Ed McClanahan

Communications/Community Relations Director - North Thurston Public Schools

Ms. Schrieve managed all press and social media surrounding the crisis.

Image of Courtney Schrieve

Principal, North Thurston High School

Mr. Rood was face-to-face with the shooter.

Image of Steve Rood

Detective Sergeant, Lacey Police Department

Detective Brimmer was a first responder who assisted with the incident command.

Image of Terence Brimmer

Brady Olson, Social Studies Teacher

Mr. Olson tackled the shooter.

Image of Brady Olson

The filmmakers wish to thank the teachers, students, staff and administrators of North Thurston High School and North Thurston School District in Lacey, Washington.

With heartfelt gratitude to our interviewees, in order of appearance:
Brady Olson
Steve Rood
Madelyn Olson
Tyler Parchem
Officer Ed McClanahan
Detective Sergeant Terence Brimmer
Courtney Schrieve
John Bash

Very special thanks to:
Lacey Police Department

And thanks to:
Thurston County Sheriff
Olympia Fire Department
Washington State Patrol
Thurston 911 Communications
Providence St. Peter Hospital
Olympia Police Department
First Responder Network Authority

Executive Producer
Shelley Westall

Produced & Directed by
Marilyn Freeman

Story Crafted by 
Marilyn Freeman
Nathan Blanchard
Amber Celletti

Cinematography by
Nathan Blanchard
Amber Celletti

Aerial Footage by
Justin Burns

Original Music by
Bronson Bragg

Edited by
Amber Celletti
Nathan Blanchard
Karl Allsop
Marilyn Freeman

Sound Recording & Mix by
Amber Celletti
Nathan Blanchard

Post Production Services
Finley Mimbles

Legal Counsel
Rebekah O’Hara

Web Page Sources:
North Thurston High School
Associated Press
Q13 Fox
CBS News
KIRO Radio 97.3 FM
OregonLive/The Oregonian
The Huffington Post
Chron.com/Houston Chronicle
New York Times
New York Daily News
The Republic
Los Angeles Times
NBC News
CBS News
The Denver Post
BBC News

Funding for this project and all OneNet activities is provided by the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) through their State and Local Implementation Grant Program (SLIGP)

A Washington OneNet & WaTech Production


Copyright 2017 Washington OneNet


Request a Town Hall / Special Screening

Washington OneNet is pleased to coordinate town-hall style discussions with special screenings of SHOTS FIRED. Use this request form or call 360-407-8223.