Brave Police officers in Nashville have been hailed as heroes for their life-saving actions in taking down an active shooter during a brutal and cowardly mass shooting at the Covenant School.
The outrageous attack, which claimed the lives of three children and three staff members, was brought to an end within minutes of the police arriving on the scene.
CCTV footage showed the heavily armed attacker, 28-year-old Audrey Hale, shattering glass doors in a flurry of gunshots before entering the school. Over the next 11 minutes, chaos and devastation ensued.
However, when the police arrived just three minutes after the first 911 call was made, they wasted no time risking their own lives in entering the building and neutralising the threat.
Officers Rex Engelbert and Michael Collazo are particularly credited with saving lives during the incident.
The dramatic footage from their bodycams showed them quickly arming themselves and entering the school to begin a methodical sweep of the building.
By the time officers entered the school, it had been put into ‘lockdown’, and a general alarm can be heard ringing out throughout the school as the brave officers start clearing rooms as they hunt for the shooter.
Despite the sound of gunfire ringing out from the second floor, they remained resolute and continued to move forward.
Officer Engelbert was the first to encounter the shooter and, after firing four shots, was quickly followed by other officers who fired four more shots and secured the suspect’s weapons.
Hale was neutralised less than four minutes after the police first arrived on the scene. When officers encountered Hale, she had just shot out some windows and was taking aim at the officer’s colleagues who were arriving on the scene.
The actions of the officers have been praised for saving the lives of other potential victims. “They immediately responded when inside, addressed and mitigated the suspect,” said Nashville Police Chief John Drake. “We could have far more casualties than we had.”
Police trainer Todd McGhee said that “those first responding officers were the model response in how active shooter response should be.” Their bravery and quick thinking in the face of danger have undoubtedly prevented further tragedy and loss of life.
A ‘shooting breakdown’ by a former U.S police officer gives a detailed commentary on what happened and can be viewed HERE (the link will take you to Youtube)