MOCK SHOOTER PROFILE: Who is Justin Forthofer?


By Jason Hawk - jhawk@civitasmedia.com



<p style="text-align: right;">Jason Hawk | Amherst News-Times Justin Forthofer is seen outside of Steele High School after the end of Monday’s mock shooting exercise.

Jason Hawk | Amherst News-Times Justin Forthofer is seen outside of Steele High School after the end of Monday’s mock shooting exercise.


Ex-boyfriend-turned-gunman is not a coveted role.

So who is the man Amherst police found to portray the shooter in Monday’s mass casualty exercise at Steele High?

Justin Forthofer is a member of the National Guard, Delta Company 1-148 Infantry out of Sandusky.

He was convinced to act out a dark and deadly part in the training scenario by police Lt. Dan Makruski — his first sergeant in the Guard.

“It was one of the more interesting Mondays I’ve had,” Forthofer said of the experience.

Teachers afterward thanked him, saying they learned a lot about how they’d react under the stress of a violent incursion into their workplace.

As the shooter pursued by armed law enforcement officers, Forthofer took some real shots.

He was pelted by soft simulation rounds fired by M-4 rifles. Not unlike paintballs, they stung badly, which is why Forthofer wore long pants and a jacket.

It’s not the first time he’s been shot. During Army training, he felt the pain of practice rounds, he told the News-Times.

These days, Forthofer is a full-time training NCO with the National Guard.

His job is not that dissimilar from what played out Monday at Steele; he is tasked with planning trainings and ranges.

Jason Hawk can be reached at 440-988-2801 or @EditorHawk on Twitter.

Jason Hawk | Amherst News-Times Justin Forthofer is seen outside of Steele High School after the end of Monday’s mock shooting exercise.

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Jason Hawk | Amherst News-Times Justin Forthofer is seen outside of Steele High School after the end of Monday’s mock shooting exercise.

By Jason Hawk

jhawk@civitasmedia.com