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Nashville school shooting: Police bodycam footage released

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (NewsNation) — The Metropolitan Nashville Police Department released bodycam footage from the private school shooting that left seven people dead, including the shooter.

The bodycam footage shows MNPD Officers Rex Engelbert, a 4-year veteran, and Michael Collazo, a 9-year veteran, responding to the active shooter alert and navigating through the Covenant campus Monday morning. 

Engelbert is seen clearing the halls, urgently moving the team through the search for the suspect. He heard gunshots coming from upstairs and rushed to the second floor. 

Officers discovered Hale on the second floor, and Collazo’s bodycam footage revealed the moment officers, including Collazo, fired at the suspect, neutralizing the threat.

“My first reaction is these kids and what they had to go through hearing this, that law enforcement response was nothing short of heroic,” Former CIA officer and FBI Special Agent Tracy Walder said. “I mean, they were able to neutralize this shooter in 14 minutes. And I feel that they did an excellent job of engaging the threat. They clearly had school shooting preparedness and situational awareness to be able to do that.”

Surveillance footage from the shooting was released late Monday evening.

A motive for what’s being described by authorities as a targeted shooting has not yet been revealed, but MNPD Chief John Drake said Hale was a former student of the school, had maps of the school and a manifesto.

“We have a manifesto, we have some writings that we’re going over that pertain to this date, the actual incident,” Drake told reporters. “We have a map drawn out of how this was all going to take place.”

The six victims fatally shot have been identified as Evelyn Dieckhaus, Hallie Scruggs and William Kinney, all age 9; Cynthia Peak, 61; Katherine Koonce, 60; and Mike Hill, 61.

“We are heartbroken. She was such a gift. Through tears, we trust that she is in the arms of Jesus who will raise her to life once again,” Chad Scruggs, Hallie’s father, told NewsNation affiliate WKRN reporter Allie Lynch.

There was not a school resource officer on-site at the time of the shooting. A five-officer unit with Metro Police rushed to the scene, handling the situation in 14 minutes, according to Nashville’s mayor.

The Covenant School is a private Christian school for students ranging from pre-school through sixth grade.

The investigation into the school shooting is ongoing.

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