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  •  Who are Rex Engelbart and Michael Collazo? Officers dubbed "heroes" over Nashville school shooting response
Officer Michael Collazo and Officer Rex Englebert (image via Brian Entin/Twitter)

 Who are Rex Engelbart and Michael Collazo? Officers dubbed "heroes" over Nashville school shooting response

Audrey Hale, aged 28, who recently came out as transgender, drove to The Covenant School, a Christian educational institute in Nashville, and killed six individuals before the responding officers shot her dead on Monday, March 27.

Trigger warning: This article contains mentions of gun violence and mass shooting that may not be suitable for all readers. Discretion is advised.


Following the shooting, in a press conference, Nashville Police Chief John Drake identified the two police officers who fatally shot the suspect as Officer Rex Englebert and Officer Michael Collazo.

Active shooter Audrey Elizabeth Hale drove to Covenant Church/School in her Honda Fit this morning, parked, and shot her way into the building. She was armed with 2 assault-type guns and a 9 millimeter pistol.

Providing a brief insight into the identities of the two officers who successfully neutralized the suspect at the scene, Drake stated that Officer Rex Englebert has worked with the Metropolitan Nashville Police Department for four years and Officer Michael Collazo has been serving for the last nine years.

"They are truly heroes": Social media praises the police officers who killed the Nashville school shooter


Bodycam footage from the cameras of both officers captured the moment they rushed into the school, clearing hallways before locating the suspect on the second floor of the building. The suspect fired multiple shots at the officers before they returned fire and fatally wounded the assailant at the scene.

Instead of showing pictures of #AudreyHale. Here are photos of the brave officers, Michael Collazo and Rex Englebert, who did not hesitate to intervene in the mass school shooting in Green Hills Monday morning.
#NashvilleCovenantSchool #nashvillestrong #NashvilleTennessee

Moments after the two officers' names were released, social media erupted with praise for them, who have been hailed as "heroes" after their quick response neutralized Audrey Hale less than 15 minutes after the suspect opened fire at the Covenant school, which killed three children and three staff members.

People commended the Nashville officers' courage in the face of adversity online, lavishing praise on them. Check out a few of these tweets below:

@SaraGonzalesTX This is terrifying AND amazing. They are truly heroes. God bless the blue. 🖤🏻🏻🏻
@SaraGonzalesTX ~3 mins from point of entry to building to engaging shooter- incredible bravery from this small team of cops
@SaraGonzalesTX Heroes right there. Did not hesitate to run right into the school and do their jobs. Awesome.

We need more men like that. Also, the shooter deserved its end. Every bullet was earned.
@SaraGonzalesTX This is true heroism, not one of those officers hesitated for a nano second, all the while knowing they could be killed at any moment. There's no end to the absolute admiration & gratitude for these officers.
@SaraGonzalesTX @loganclarkhall I don't know who trained these guys but the did an outstanding job. One or two giving commands, good tactics, movement and communication. Great job guys!

Nashville Police have released the bodycam footage and it cannot be stressed enough how remarkable this response was. These men are absolute heroes.
@SaraGonzalesTX @benshapiro Amazing to watch such bravery and commanding leadership by the two officers featured and the others.

Tragic that such an event should occur. But dealt with amazingly.

Detailing the incident, Nashville Police Chief John Drake said that the two officers responded to the active shooting incident immediately after receiving a distress call. They began clearing the building as soon as they reached the location, starting from the lower level until they heard shots coming from the second floor.

Soon after, the duo rushed to the second floor, where they encountered the suspect in a common area shooting at officers already present at the scene.

@rawsalerts We sent $150B to Ukraine. $4.8B would put an armed guard in every public school in the US with a $50k salary.

After the incident, police identified the six victims who were killed in the mass shooting incident, including three young children, all aged 9, identified as Evelyn Dieckhaus, Hallie Scruggs, and William Kinney. The suspect also killed school principal Katherine Koonce, 60, and two staff members, Cynthia Peak and Mike Hill, both 61 years old.

Police, who are still exploring the circumstances behind the targeted attack, said that they are investigating if the gender of the suspect, who recently came out as transgender, was a potential motive for the shooting. Authorities said that Hale, who worked as a graphic designer, was also a former student at the Covenant school.

Edited by
Abhipsa Choudhury
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