FBI shooting simulation feels real to academy students

ST. LOUIS - A gunman loose in an office building or a shooter inside a school. It's as real as it can get, without being dangerous.

This is the simulation that FBI agents go through on a regular basis, now citizens seeing how they train for a crisis with hands on experience. You are not actually holding a gun that fires bullets and no one is firing at you, but they make it seem very real.

It's only a simulation, but FBI agents use it to help sharpen their skills while using deadly force. Wednesday night students with this year's St. Louis FBI Citizens Academy got their chance test their reflexes.

"My hands are still shaking, it is a simulator, but if feels very real," said Abby Stylianou, who's in the Academy.

Citizens Academy member and civil attorney Larry Christopher took a crack at a scenario and nailed it, saving the victim.

"I felt like, yeah, you know I got the job done that I was supposed to get done," said Christopher. He says the pressure that is felt is unreal and that's just a simulation.

Stylianou says she's never fired a weapon until just recently.

"It gives you an appreciation of what these agents do every day the knowledge that they have to pull that trigger and the responsibility that comes with that." she said. "I think in that simulator it's easier to pull the trigger I can't imagine having to make that choice."

Not just anyone can join the Citizens Academy, you have to be nominated by an FBI employee or an academy alumni. Then those chosen go through another selection process.


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