Rocky River students develop smartphone app that could save lives in an active shooter situation

Posted at 8:58 AM, May 08, 2018
and last updated 2018-05-08 09:00:48-04

The Parkland School shooting in Florida that left 17 people dead is still in the minds of students and parents who are pushing for gun control across the country. The topic is hitting us here in Northeast Ohio. It's why two local students have invented a way to keep their classmates safe.

“When a situation like this happens, there’s a lot of panic that’s generated,” said Austin Wilson, a senior at Rocky River High School, relating to the feeling when a school shooting happens.

Principal Rob Winton said as they run drills, they’ve found a common problem consistently pop up.

“Our biggest issue with security or shooting training that we consistently do now, is communication, it seems to be our weakest link,” said Principal Winton.

That’s until Rocky River seniors Austin Wilson and Haduy Salama created the Eyealert app.

“The concept of the app is kind of like a digital fire alarm,” said Salama.

They say it took a while for them to conceptualize and develop the app, as they had never done it before. How it works is all students and staff at the school have the app, when opened they’ll see a map of the entire school.

“It knows where you are so it is tracking your location while you have the app open,” Wilson said.

So wherever a gunman walks in, a student nearby can see where they are on the map and where the gunman is, and pinpoint it on the map. Once they’ve pinpointed it with their finger, an alert is sent out to all students.

Most importantly, it exposes the best escape route for others in the building and so far they’ve already tested the app out in their school twice.

“We had over half the school almost half the school out of the building before they actually made the announcement,” said Wilson.

When it comes to security for the app, they say they’re constantly improving it, putting things like an administrative password that updates every two days on the app to keep intruders out.

Their next test run is in a few weeks.