Wakefield officers remember shooting 12 years ago
WAKEFIELD, Mass. (WHDH) -- After Friday’s deadly shooting at a Connecticut elementary school, some Wakefield police officers talked about how they coped after responding to a mass shooting 12 years ago.
Although Massachusetts has not seen a case of the same magnitude, there was a mass shooting December 26, 2000.
There are officers still on the job who know what it's like to enter a facility where a gunman has killed numerous people.
Almost 12 years ago, Michael McDermott walked into Edgewater Technologies in Wakefield and opened fire. He ended up killing seven people that day -- all employees of the company.
Lt. Steven Skory had been with the Wakefield Police Department just six months when the shooting happened.
He remembers the stress of that day and the toll it took on his fellow officers.
He says he and his colleagues were offered counseling and debriefing to help them deal with the trauma.
“Everyone says, ‘It doesn’t happen in my town, it happens somewhere else.’ It did happen here and everybody who was on duty that day, they performed their functions, they did their duty and afterwards everybody had to reflect in some way. And for those directly involved, the ones who went into that building that day, knowing they were potential targets as well, they went in there because they knew they had to, that they had to save lives of other people. They did what they needed to do that day. And afterwards when it’s all over you reflect on what you did and there’s a certain stress level there. And to downgrade that stress you have to do some kind of debriefing,” said Lt. Skory.
He says the debriefing involved a lot of talking, sharing and reflection, but he says his colleagues never fully got over what they saw.
Michael McDermott is serving seven consecutive life sentences.