COLUMBUS, Ga. (WRBL) — Nearly 50 law enforcement, school, and city officials came together in Columbus Tuesday afternoon for an exercise they all hope and pray is never needed.

The drill – an active shooter at a local middle school. Again, this was an exercise – not real.

A shooter entered a local middle school, people died, including the shooter.

At the end of more than an hour of dealing with the scenarios, the mayor, sheriff, fire chief, and others came out for a mock news conference.

Here’s what the mayor said in the news conference.

“Immediately, all of our agencies responded,” he said. “There were over 100 law enforcement officers responding to the scene.”

It sounded real, but, thankfully it wasn’t.

Those are words Henderson hopes he never has to utter as the Columbus mayor.

But making the exercise realistic, including that news conference was part of making sure officials get the right information to the public in a timely manner.

“Here’s the deal. It’s one of those things kind of like insurance,” Mayor Skip Henderson said. “You practice very hard for something you pray you will never need. But in the instance you do need it, you can’t afford to get it wrong.”

Chance Corbett, the Columbus Director of Columbus Homeland Security and Emergency Management, organized the event and was trying to make it as realistic as possible.

“What we’ve learned through this is what we already knew,” Corbett said. “We worked together and it’s best when we work together, communicate together, have a plan, and be ready to react immediately.”

And it worked, Muscogee County School District Superintendent Dr. David Lewis said.

“As I have said before this is the worst nightmare,” he said. “And we want to make sure we do everything to try and prevent it. Should it occur, we want to know that everyone knows how to respond appropriately, effectively, and professionally.”

The agencies involved were the Muscogee County School District Police, Columbus Police, Muscogee County Sheriff’s Office, Columbus Homeland Security and EMA, and Georgia State Patrol.

Chance Corbett/Director Columbus Homeland Security and Emergency Management

“What we’ve learned through this is what we already knew. We worked together and it’s best when we work together, communicate together, have a plan and be ready to react immediately.”