Police in Havre de Grace and Aberdeen did not plan to beef up security as a result of the incident but assured they have procedures in place to handle a school shooting.

In Havre de Grace, there is an "immediate lockdown procedure" in place if a similar shooting were to happen in Havre de Grace, police spokesman Ofc. Jeff Gilpin said.

The school board also has its own procedures that outline what the school would do.

Every year the police department goes through training on how to respond to active shootings, he said.

"Like" exploreharford's Facebook page

Gilpin said officers "run through scenarios and practice different techniques."

"Our first goal is to get to the shooter as soon as possible, stop the threat," Gilpin said. "From there the investigative process takes over."

Officers sometimes use training weapons in a simulated classroom, usually vacant buildings or places with offices that resemble a school.

Officers are also encouraged to conduct "walk-throughs" in actual schools.

Rick Grambo, vice president of the board of education, said it was too soon to say how the incident could affect the county.

"I think it's a horrible, senseless tragedy but I am sure the superintendent and his staff are considering some different things," he said. "I know they are aware of the situation."

Sheriff Jesse Bane said the sheriff's office has worked diligently with school officials, including Harford Community College, and will continue discussing ways to improve security. 

"We have reached out to our local day care centers to offer our services and will continue to assign school resource officers on high school and middle school campuses to enhance security on school properties," Bane said.

At the scene

Wayne Tome, the mayor of Port Deposit and battalion chief at the Baltimore County Fire Department, oversaw the entire incident as fire commander.

He sent four medic units and two fire units to the scene, standing by while police cleared the building, helped evacuate the school and oversaw the critically wounded student flown to shock trauma.

Besides the immediate student who was shot, "there were some minor injuries and some illnesses," Tome said, explaining that a couple of people went to the hospital with injuries like twisted ankles during the evacuation.

"It was a little bit chaotic in that regard," he said.

The event was a change from shootings the department has seen in the past.

"It's definitely a different setting when you have a school structure and the biggest school in Baltimore County. You have young people involved," Tome said.