Watch: This Is How Heroic Bodycam Footage of Nashville Shooting Compares with Uvalde
Last year’s shooting at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas, was arguably the single largest failure by adults to protect children in this country’s recent history.
But the response from officers with the Metropolitan Nashville Police Department on Monday to a shooting at a private Christian school in the Tennessee city demonstrates people who put on the badge are without question willing to risk their lives to protect the most vulnerable among us.
The actions of those who were dispatched to the Covenant School deserve to be recognized, as they in all likelihood saved lives.
Tragically, there appears to be no shortage of evil people who are motivated by a sinister desire to harm others through mass killings — especially in schools.
It is a scourge on the country, and everyone wants it to stop. The issue is not partisan, even if varying proposals to take on the problem are.
Since the 1999 massacre at Columbine High School in Littleton, Colorado, police departments around the country have adopted strategies to respond to potential violence in the schools in their communities.
Last May, 19 children and two adults lost their lives when a psychotic 18-year-old entered Robb Elementary and opened fire.
The responding officers bungled the response to such a degree that many people around the country lost faith in the ability of police departments to protect schools.
A look at footage of that response still elicits a lot of strong emotion. While children were being slaughtered, officers remained on the sidelines for the better part of an hour.
WARNING: The following videos contain graphic images of police responses to school shootings, and some viewers might find them difficult to watch.
Only when brave men from a Border Patrol tactical team stormed the classroom in Uvalde did the killing end.
But officers in Nashville acted valiantly as soon as they received a call Monday morning that a disturbed individual was firing at children at a school in their city.
Police body camera footage released Tuesday shows a number of officers working to identify the location of the shooter and neutralize her.
Footage of the two events is night and day. You don’t have to watch a great deal of either video to spot the difference between the two situations.
One department acted with the urgency necessary to protect babies. One of them did not.
Officers in Nashville worked as a team, they moved quickly and they ultimately killed the suspect — a 28-year-old Audrey Hale, who attended the school as a girl but later identified as male.
Fourteen minutes after Nashville police were called, and less than six minutes after their arrival at the Covenant School, the transgender suspect was dead.
Officers Rex Engelbert and Michael Collazo have been identified as two of the heroes who did not think twice about running toward gunfire. They and others ended the rampage.
MNPD Officers Rex Engelbert, a 4-year veteran, and Michael Collazo, a 9-year veteran, were part of a team of first responders to the Covenant campus Mon morning. They fired on the active shooter, who was killed. This is their body camera footage. https://t.co/17qsZM6bNp pic.twitter.com/g4b0nMTFRD
— Metro Nashville PD (@MNPDNashville) March 28, 2023
None of this changes the fact three children and three adults died during Hale’s massacre. But the situation could have been more deadly.
More children could have been lost, and more parents could have spent the rest of their lives attempting to reconcile that fact.
It is understandable to try to find a silver lining following such a tragedy. Considering six people were killed, it is challenging, but not impossible, to take something positive from this horrific event.
Three children, all 9 years old, will never light up their homes again with laughter. Their lives were cut short by someone whose heart was so corrupt she chose the unimaginable.
Three adults whose families loved them and whose lives were dedicated to education will never sit at a dinner table again.
But we can be thankful for the fact that there are brave men and women in police departments around the country who value the sanctity of human life to a degree that compels them to run toward danger.
We can each find solace in the fact that there are officers like Engelbert, Collazo and every other Nashville cop who courageously responded Monday.
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