Two Nashville Metro Police officers are being praised for their heroic actions that possibly saved the lives of numerous children and staff at a Nashville, Tennessee, Christian elementary school Monday morning.
Minutes after a 28-year-old female shooter entered the Covenant School in Nashville where she murdered three adults and three children, a group of police officers rushed into the building and took her out. Bodycam footage of the police response shows the decisive actions of two Nashville cops, Rex Engelbert and Michael Collazo, who are being credited for running into the school and killing the mass shooter.
Engelbert, 27, is a four-year veteran of the force. He grew up on the Northwest side of Chicago with three brothers and a sister, according to ABC 7 News. Engelbert was one of the first officers on the scene after the female shooter, who identified as a man, shot her way into the building at 10:13 a.m. Engelbert’s bodycam footage shows the officer quickly grabbing a rifle from the back of his squad car upon arriving at the school. Once in the building, Engelbert directed his team toward the shooter.
After clearing some of the first floor, Engelbert is heard telling his partners that “it sounds like [the shooter] is upstairs.” Engelbert and his team of officers raced to the second floor and ran down the hallway as gunfire is heard. At the end of the hallway, Engelbert peered around the corner where the shooter was standing and fired multiple shots, dropping her to the ground.
“As an older brother, I’m as proud of him as I can be and as happy that he’s okay,” Engelbert’s brother Kevin told ABC 7 News. “The selfish part of me, of course, thinks ‘I hope my brother’s not there.’ The practical part of me thinks and has confidence in that, if my brother was there … his training and his fortitude would be forthcoming.”
Engelbert received a commendation for “precision policing” last week after he helped recover meth, fentanyl, a stolen handgun, and nearly two dozen stolen credit cards, along with arresting two “dangerous felons,” according to Nashville’s Central Precinct, Fox News reported.
Collazo is a 31-year-old Marine Corps veteran, former firefighter, and former SWAT team paramedic. He was born and raised in Nashville and joined the Marines after graduating high school, according to Fox News. Collazo, who is the father of a young girl, moved in on the shooter after she was initially shot by Engelbert.
Bodycam footage from Collazo, a nine-year veteran of the Metro Nashville Police Department, and one other officer approaching the shooter and yelling at her to “stop moving” after she was shot. Collazo then fired more shots at her after she dropped to the ground as she continued to move and clung to her gun. Collazo and the other officer finally reached the shooter’s body, telling her to “get your hands away from the gun” before Collazo moved the firearms away out of her reach.
Collazo was also one of the officers who responded to a bombing in downtown Nashville on Christmas Day in 2020, his sister Deanna Collazo DeHart told Fox News.
“[He’s] obviously very brave, braver than I ever imagined,” Collazo DeHart, said. “He really does love his job. When I sit and think about all the training and all the different classes that he does, and all the family events that he’s had to miss because of training or leaving to go through this training or this class … it all really does pay off.”