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Heroic Police Officers Who Stopped Trans Shooter Give Their Side of the Story

WKRN News 2

The heroic Metro Nashville Police officers who were part of the team that took down the transgender shooter who attacked a private Christian school gave their side of the story during a media event on Tuesday.


Officer Rex Engelbert said he normally works on the department's bike patrol and started to head towards the Metro Police Department's academy to work on administrative tasks, which put him in the area of the Covenant School.

“I really had no business being where I was. You can call it fate, or God, or whatever you want, but I can’t count on both my hands the irregularities that put me in that position when a call for service came out for an act of deadly aggression at a school," said Engelbert.

Engelbert after he and several officers arrived at the school, he realized he did not personally know or worked with any of the other MNPD members and so they had to rely on their active shooter training to respond.

"I luckily deployed my rifle, kept walking towards the sound of gunfire. There was, like Sergeant said, smoke in the air. It was very similar to the training we receive...I definitely wish I had deployed my rifle-caliber rated heavy plates when I found myself at the front of the stack," he recalled.

Even after the transgender shooter was taken out, they continued to search the building to see if there were anymore threats and evacuate the building.

Detective Michael Collazo likewise said he was working in the office when the call came over the radio about an active shooter at school.

"I started clearing rooms as fast as possible to find where the shooter," Collazo explained, saying he was at first frustrated when he encountered a locked door on the second floor but then realizing it was what the school staff were supposed to do in an active shooter situation.

"Smoke was everywhere, the fire alarm was going off. It was somewhere right around that point we heard another point and that's what told us the shooter was to our right...We pushed right and we continued down that hallway," Collazo continued, telling he was the one who told Engelbert to be at the front of the stack because they did not know how far they were going to have to engage the shooter.

The six victims fatally shot by the shooter at Covenant School have been identified as: Evelyn Dieckhaus, Hallie Scruggs, and William Kinney, all age 9, Cynthia Peak, age 61, Katherine Koonce, age 60, and Mike Hill, age 61.

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