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Body camera footage shows moment police confront and kill Nashville shooter

The edited footage, combined in a video just over six minutes long, shows Officers Rex Engelbert and Michael Collazo confronting and firing at the shooter in front of a large window.
Nashville Police officers respond to a shooting at Covenant School on March 27, 2023.
Nashville police officers respond to a shooting at The Covenant School on Monday.Metropolitan Nashville Police Department

Body camera footage released Tuesday morning by the Metropolitan Nashville Police Department shows the moment police Officers Rex Engelbert and Michael Collazo confronted and killed the shooter at The Covenant School who killed six people, including three 9-year-olds.

After searching classrooms and an office on the first floor, the officers rush up a stairwell and move down two long hallways before confronting shooter Audrey Hale, 28, who stands under a large window in what appears to be an atrium. 

Engelbert’s body camera footage shows him confronting the shooter from a corner diagonally across from the window. 

Someone yells, “Reloading,” and Engelbert immediately shoots multiple rounds toward the shooter.

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The shooter is seen collapsing to the ground. 

Someone yells, “Clear.”

Collazo yells, “Move, move,” and he and at least one other officer positioned nearby then move closer to the shooter, with Engelbert following behind.

As they approach the shooter, Collazo warns, "Watch out, watch out."

Collazo then fires multiple rounds at the shooter before yelling, "Stop moving, stop moving."

Another officer yells, “Get your hand away from the gun.”

The video ends just after Collazo yells, "Suspect down, suspect down."

Part of the shooter’s body is blurred on the footage, though it is visible on the ground. A broken window is also visible behind them.

The edited footage is combined in a video just over six minutes long.

In sharing it, the police department said Engelbert and Collazo were “part of a team of officers who responded to the Covenant Church/School campus Monday morning and immediately entered the building.” Five police officers in total came upon the shooter, police spokesperson Don Aaron told reporters Monday.

Initial moments at the scene

Engelbert’s body camera footage captures the initial frantic moments on the scene when the officers arrive at the school and run inside as alarms blare, and the harrowing moments leading up to the confrontation.

The video starts with Engelbert meeting a woman outside the school, who says, “The kids are all locked down, but we have two kids that we don’t know where they are.” It is unclear who she was referring to.

The woman then appears to read a message from her phone, saying, "'Someone has fired into my window,'" before directing Engelbert upstairs.

Engelbert then runs toward a door of the school and shouts, “Give me three,” appearing to request other officers to accompany him inside.

The sound of alarms can be heard emanating from the school.

The woman outside the school tells the officers gathered outside: “End of this hall ... they just said they heard gunshots down there, and then upstairs are a bunch of kids.”

“Let’s go, I need three,” Engelbert repeats, as someone else yells, “One more.”

Footage shows two perspectives

As the officers enter the building with their guns raised, Engelbert and Collazo’s body camera footage shows split perspectives: Engelbert’s footage shows him and a group of officers searching for the shooter on the first floor before running upstairs, and Collazo’s footage shows his group initially running up to the second floor — where officers later encountered the shooter — and unsuccessfully trying to open a locked door before running back downstairs and following Engelbert’s group.

As the officers prepare to enter the first classrooms, one says, "We don’t know where he is," Engelbert's footage shows.

The officers search two classrooms, and their private bathrooms, before giving them the all-clear and moving down a hallway. Engelbert looks inside an office; as he does, the sound of gunshots is audible.

Engelbert then races down another hallway and pauses at the intersection of a hallway.

“I think it’s upstairs; it sounds like it’s upstairs,” Engelbert says, seemingly referring to the gunshots, before running up a stairwell.

As Engelbert and other officers run down a set of hallways on the second floor, sounds of gunshots get louder.

“Shots fired, shots fired, shots fired, move,” Collazo says.

At that moment, his body camera footage appears to show the officers passing a pixelated body lying on the floor of the hallway wearing pink.

They walk through a final set of doors before confronting the shooter.

Officers praised for fast response

Officials have credited the team of officers who arrived at the scene for their quick action.

Police said they first received calls about the shooter at around 10:13 a.m. local time (11:13 a.m. ET), and that by 10:27 a.m., “the shooter was deceased,” Aaron told reporters Monday.

“Let us praise our first responders. Fourteen minutes, 14 minutes, I believe under fire, running to gunfire,” Nashville Mayor John Cooper told reporters Monday.

Engelbert has been with the police force for four years, and Collazo for nine years, police said. 

Latest footage showing terror inside

The release of the body camera footage follows the earlier release of surveillance footage, just over two minutes long, that shows the shooter entering the school by shooting through a set of glass doors and then roaming the hallways and entering different rooms, armed with rifles.

Police have described the shooter as transgender and said they were a former student at the school. The shooter did not have a criminal record before opening fire and killing Evelyn Dieckhaus, Hallie Scruggs and William Kinney, all 9 years old; and Cynthia Peak, 61; Katherine Koonce, 60; and Mike Hill, 61.

Authorities are still probing a possible motive, but a sense of "resentment" might have played a role in the deadly attack, Police Chief John Drake told NBC News.

“There’s some belief that there was some resentment for having to go to that school,” Drake said.

Local and federal investigators are also poring over documents that the shooter is alleged to have left behind.

The shooter had carefully planned the attack with detailed maps and surveillance, police said. They were armed with two AR-style weapons and a handgun, according to Drake.

There were also indications that the shooter planned to target at least one other location, Drake said.