Two Nashville police officers are being praised as heroes and credited with saving more children from possible loss of life during the horrendous Monday morning shooting at a private Christian elementary school.
Metro Nashville Police Officers Michael Collazo, 31, and Rex Engelbert, 27, were named as the two individuals who ended the school shooting threat from continuing with their quick thinking and quick actions. Both were named as taking down the murderous suspect.
Officer Collazo is a former U.S. Marine and firefighter who has served on the MNPD for nine years, records show. He is said to have responded to the quickly-buried Christmas Day bombing in 2020 when a mysterious explosion emanating from a parked RV exploded in downtown Nashville.
Collazo is also the father of a young girl.
“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,” his sister, Deanna Collazo DeHart, said of her hero brother while speaking to Fox News Digital.
“[He’s] obviously very brave, braver than I ever imagined,” she continued. “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.”
“To see the bravery of all of them just storming and clearing the rooms is absolutely phenomenal,” she added, noting that it is difficult to balance feeling a deep sense of pride for his commitment to the community and a sense of concern for his own wellbeing as he puts himself directly in harm’s way. “And you commend the whole department,” she added.
Englebert has also won wide praise for his immediate response. In the short video released to the public, the young officer can be seen exiting his squad car, retrieving his rifle, and interacting with a staff member outside who apprises him of the situation.
“The kids are all locked down, but we have two kids that we don’t know where they are,” the female employee tells him. “OK,” he says. “Yes, ma’am.”
“At the end of this hall is Fellowship Hall,” she can be heard saying. “They just said they heard gunshots down there and then upstairs are a bunch of kids.” “Let’s go,” Engelbert calls out in response, looking to build a team of officers to enter the building. “I need three.”
A National Police Association spokesperson watched the released bodycam footage and commended the actions of the officers, calling their precision and execution a “training video.”
“It’s a training video,” Betsy Brantner Smith, a retired sergeant with 29 years of experience, said in an interview. “Look at the minute they heard shots fired. What did they say? ‘Shots fired! Shots fired! Move! Move! Move!’ They went faster. Rifles first. They’re in there, patting each other on the back. They’re doing all the right things to encourage each other, knowing they’re putting themselves in harm’s way, running toward gunshots, to stop that shooter.”
“The National Police Association is so incredibly proud of these police officers, and we’re also proud of the other 750,000 officers who go out every single day and do what these men and women did in the Nashville Police department,” she added. “As a nation we have got to look at situations like this and say this demonization of American law enforcement has got to stop.”
Featured image: Metro Nashville Police Department
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