2 Hero Officers Confronted, Fatally Shot Nashville School Shooter

On Tuesday, Nashville police released body-camera footage from Officers Rex Englebert and Michael Collazo of their encounter with the Covenant school shooter

2 Hero Officers Confronted, Fatally Shot Nashville School Shooter
Metro Nashville police officers Rex Engelbert (left), and Michael Collazo. Photo: Metropolitan Nashville Police Department

Two cops are being hailed as heroes after swiftly confronting and fatally shooting the suspect in the Nashville mass shooting at a private Christian school on Monday morning. Six innocent people were killed in the attack, which authorities believe was premeditated.

Metro Nashville police officers Rex Engelbert, a four-year veteran, and Michael Collazo, a nine-year veteran, were part of a team of first responders who arrived at the Covenant School campus after initially receiving calls around 10:13 a.m. reporting the shooting, the police department said in a press release.

Nashville authorities have confirmed that the assailant, a former student identified as 28-year-old Audrey Hale, gained entrance to the Covenant School by shooting through a glass door before killing three adults and three children. Both officers engaged the shooter on the second floor of the building, killing the assailant, who was confirmed dead by 10:27 a.m.

The gender of the assailant is unclear. Police initially referred to the shooter as a female, and then said the assailant identifies as transgender. CNN reports a police spokesperson told the station Hale used male pronouns on a social media profile.

The shooter had two "assault-type rifles" and one pistol, Nashville police spokesman Don Aaron said.

On Tuesday morning, police released body-camera footage from Englebert and Collazo of their encounter with the shooter.

"These guys are heroes," one person wrote in the comments section of the video, which was posted to YouTube. "They had no fear and should be honored for their bravery. It's really heartbreaking they had to do this at all."

Another commenter, who identified themself as a 20-year military veteran added, " I am very impressed with their valor, their training, and performance. This is a model for other agencies to follow."

Comments praising the cops also flooded the police department's Twitter page.

"Those officers… No hesitation, methodical, professional," one person wrote. "Their training was obvious. They wouldn't call themselves heroic. I do."

"I salute these brave officers for never hesitating going in that building," another user tweeted. "Absolutely heartbreaking and heart wrenching that this is normal in America."

Prior to identifying the shooter, police announced that the victims were Evelyn Dieckhaus, 9, Hallie Scruggs, 9, William Kinney, 9, Cynthia Peak, 61, Katherine Koonce, 60, and Mike Hill, 61.

"Our community is heartbroken," the Covenant School said in a statement emailed to PEOPLE. "We are grieving tremendous loss and are in shock coming out of the terror that shattered our school and church. We are focused on loving our students, our families, our faculty and staff, and beginning the process of healing."

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According to statistics from the Gun Violence Archive, which defines a mass shooting as an incident in which four or more people are shot, regardless of the number of fatalities, there were 128 mass shootings in 2023 as of Monday morning.

How to help

You can donate to the families of the victims through the The Community Foundation of Middle Tennessee. ViVE and VictimsFirst have also created GoFundMe pages for donations. Both fundraisers are verified.

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