PUNTA GORDA- It's every police officers worst nightmare: Walking into a situation where shots are fired.
That's exactly what officers at the Punta Gorda Police Department faced on Thursday.
But it wasn't real.
It's a training practice being played out by officers to tweak their skills on how to deal with live-fire situations.
Training Sergeant Rick Mohopt calls it a "scenario-based force on force training." Training that uses real guns.
The bullets in those guns are loaded with a cartridge that has a paint and detergent combination as a slug. Not to be confused with a paintball gun which uses compressed air to fire a round pellet. These guns fire actual gunpowder rounds that leave quite a welt if they hit you.
"There is a pain penalty, and yes it does sting a bit., Sgt. Mohapt said. And sure enough several officers showed off their welts to our cameras as we watched them play out different shooting scenarios.
The whole experience is designed to give officers experience handling gunfire situations so that they can remain calm in the event that they encounter problems on the job.
"Our officers need to know to be able to listen whats going on around them- be able to not get tunnel vision," Mohapt said. "And it is easy to do."
Just watching the action as officers shoot at each other, you can start to feel your heart pounding and your adrenaline racing.
Some scenarios like ta traffic stop are based on recent event.
For example, they reenacted a recent event that happened in Indianapolis, in which an officer was ambushed and shot and killed.
The difference here is that at the end of the day, all of these officers get to go home to their families.