Nashville police have released body cam video from Officers Rex Engelbert and Michael Collazo, who officials say shot and killed active shooter Audrey Hale.
Engelbert, a 4-year veteran of the Metro Nashville Police Department, and Michael Collazo, a 9-year veteran, “were part of a team of first responders” at The Covenant School on March 27, 2023. “They fired on the active shooter, who was killed. This is their body camera footage,” police wrote, sharing the video on YouTube.
The body cam footage later in this story, but viewer discretion is advised as it shows the moment officers shot and killed Hale, 28, a former student at the school who police say had already taken the lives of three students and three staff members. At the end of the videos, the body cam footage shows Hale’s blurred body lying on the ground.
Police previously released a surveillance video showing Hale in the school and photos of guns and Hale’s car. You can see those here.
Police identified the victims as 9-year-olds Evelyn Dieckhaus, William Kinney, and Hallie Scruggs, along with school staff members Mike Hill, 61; Cynthia Peak, 61; and Katherine Koonce, 60. You can read more about the victims here.
Here’s what you need to know:
The Video Shows 2 Officers Shooting Audrey Hale on the 2nd Floor of The Covenant School
Engelbert’s video shows him arriving at the school and getting a weapon from his vehicle. “The kids are all locked down, and we have two kids and we don’t know where they are,” a woman told Engelbert, who walked toward the school. “They’re upstairs,” she said. “They heard gunshots down there.”
The officer used a key to enter the school, the video shows. “Let’s go,” he said, as he was joined by more officers. “Metro police,” officers shouted.
The video then shows them going from classroom to classroom, clearing the rooms, which were empty, and bathrooms. Fire alarms were going on throughout the building. At one point, an officer said, “sounds like it’s upstairs,” and gunshots were heard and then more gunshots.
“Get your hands away from the gun,” an officer said, and Hale’s body is then seen on the ground.
Collazo’s body camera shows him running up to the second floor. He then went back to the first floor. The officers encountered some locked doors. “Shots fired, shots fired, move,” an officer says as gunshots rang out on the second floor. The officers ran toward them.
They fired and then yelled, “clear,” shooting more, and telling Hale to “stop moving.” At that point in the video, you see the suspect lying on the ground. “Suspect down, suspect down,” an officer can be heard saying
“I was really impressed with all that was going on, the danger, that somebody took control and said, ‘let’s go, let’s go, let’s go.’ and went in, Police Chief John Drake said in a March 28, 2023, news conference.
The two officers who shot Hale are “trying to decompress. Trying to make sense of all of this,” Drake said. He said that President Joe Biden said he was going to reach out to talk to the two officers.
He said he doesn’t have a problem with the police response time.
Nashville Police Described the Attack by Audrey Hale as ‘Calculated & Planned’
In a written statement, Nashville Police Chief John Drake wrote that “the men and women of the MNPD join all of Nashville in mourning today’s deaths of six innocent persons, three nine-year-old’s and three adults, at the hands of an active shooter at Covenant Church/School on Burton Hills Drive.”
The shooter, Audrey Elizabeth Hale, 28, “who attended the school years ago, arrived on campus in her Honda Fit,” police wrote. Hale “was heavily armed with three guns, two of them assault-type weapons, and, as seen in surveillance video, shot her way into the church/school through doors on the side of the building.”
The first call to 911 about shots being fired in the building came in at 10:13 a.m., police wrote. “Officers rushed to the campus, made entry and began clearing the building. Shots were heard coming from the second level. It was on the second floor, in a common area, that a team of officers encountered Hale shooting.”
According to Nashville Police, Hale “had been firing through a window at arriving police cars. Two members of an officer team fired on Hale and fatally wounded: the suspect. “Those two officers are Officer Rex Engelbert, a four-year MNPD veteran, and Officer Michael Collazo, a nine-year MNPD veteran,” police wrote.
“Writings recovered from Hale revealed that her attack was calculated and planned,” according to police.
“A search warrant executed at Hale’s Brightwood Avenue home resulted in the seizure of a sawed-off shotgun, a second shotgun, and other evidence,” the police statement read.
Police confirmed that Hale identified as transgender. Hale’s social media accounts indicated that Hale went by the name “Aiden” and used he/him pronouns.