Woman sues after being held 'hostage'

KUSA – A woman from Carbondale claims she suffered emotional and mental distress during an active shooter training exercise she claims she didn't know she was a part of.

Michelle Meeker is suing the Carbondale police chief and an officer. Her employer, the Heritage Park Care Center, where the exercise occurred October 13, 2013, is also listed in the complaint.

In a complaint received by 9NEWS Tuesday, Meeker claims she was taken hostage by a man with a gun while at work at the assisted living center in Carbondale. Meeker says the gunman held her against her will while she begged for her life.

According to the complaint, what she did not know at the time was that the man with the gun was a Carbondale police officer, and it was all a part of an active shooter drill that was taking place.

Meeker claims that she was not informed of the training and suffered severe mental and emotional distress since the incident.

In a statement to 9NEWS, Heritage Park Care Center said:

Because the safety of the residents, associates and their families at Heritage Park Care Center is our top priority, we conduct routine safety drills to prepare for any type of situation we might face. Recently, we conducted an armed intruder drill at our facility with the assistance of a trained, reputable safety consulting group. Local police had also been notified in advance and were on site during the drill. Unfortunately, the training exercise alarmed some at our facility. We have reassured everyone that the situation was safe and controlled. Heritage Park Care Center is not only committed to providing quality care to those in our community, but to also keeping our residents and associates safe. We are proud to be a member of this community, and we pledge to continue our quest for excellence.

9NEWS reached out to the police chief of Carbondale and have not heard back.

Meeker is seeking an undisclosed amount in damages.

(KUSA-TV © 2014 Multimedia Holdings Corporation)


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