The heroic officers who took down the transgender shooter who attacked a Christian school in Nashville, Tennessee, the week are a Marine Corps veteran and award-winning “precision policeman.”
Michael Collazo, 31, and Rex Engelbert, 27, ran toward the sound of gunfire at The Covenant School on Monday where a transgender shooter, 28, killed three children and three adults.
Collazo, a nine-year veteran of the Metro Nashville Police Department, is a Marine Corps veteran and former firefighter who also previously served as a SWAT paramedic, Fox News reported.
“[He’s] obviously very brave, braver than I ever imagined,” said his sister, Deanne Collazo DeHart. “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,” she added. “To see the bravery of all of them just storming and clearing the rooms is absolutely phenomenal. And you commend the whole department.”
Dramatic bodycam footage released on Tuesday shows Officer Collazo running toward the gunfire without hesitation after multiple shots ring out inside the Christian school.
“Shots fired, shots fired, shots fired, move!” he yells.
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As Collazo and other policemen reach the end of a hallway, the transgender shooter fires several more rounds. The officers push forward toward the shooter, who was firing on officers on the ground outside a window at the time.
Also among the first responders was Officer Engelbert, a four-year veteran of the department who fired the first shots to take down the transgender shooter.
Engelbert’s heroic actions come one week after he received an award for “precision policing” after recovering nearly two dozen stolen credit cards, a handgun and fentanyl.
“These seizures took two dangerous felons who had multiple outstanding warrants off the streets of downtown Nashville,” the Central Precinct said in statement Thursday. “We are so thankful for their dedication to keeping our city safe.”
National Police Associated spokesperson Betsy Brantner Smith praised the heroic officers.
“We need to go back to that warrior mentality, of ‘those children’s lives are more important than mine,'” Brantner Smith said. “That’s what you want in your police officers, truly selfless service.”
The victims of the deadly shooting were Cynthia Peak, 61, Katherine Koonce, 60, Mike Hill, 61, and 9-year-olds Evelyn Dieckhaus, Hallie Scruggs, and William Kinney.