Nashville cops who shot Audrey Hale hailed for their actions

Nashville cops who shot Audrey Hale hailed for their actions

The hero Nashville cops who gunned down school shooter Audrey Hale Monday include a Marine Corps veteran who once rushed into action after a Christmas morning terror bombing.

Michael Collazo, a nine-year veteran of the police force, was among the first responders at the 2020 bombing that injured eight in the Tennessee capital, Fox News reported.

“[He’s] obviously very brave, braver than I ever imagined,” his sister, Deanne Collazo DeHart, told the outlet. “He really does love his ob.

“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,” DeHart said, “it all really does pay off.”

Collazo, 31, and fellow cop Rex Engelbert, 27, are now both being hailed as heroes after dramatic bodycam footage captured them rushing into the Covenant School and taking down Hale.

Nashville Police Officer Michael Collazo.
Nashville Police Officer Michael Collazo is a former firefighter and US Marine Corps vet who was among the first responders to the city’s 2020 Christmas Day bombing.
Metro Nashville PD / BACKGRID

Nashville Police Officer Rex Engelbert.
Nashville Police Officer Rex Engelbert, a four-year veteran of the department, received a commendation for two felony busts just one week before Monday’s school shooting.
Metro Nashville PD / BACKGRID

The deranged shooter had already taken six lives, including three young children, and planned to kill more before she was shot dead, according to authorities.

Collazo, who was born and raised in Nashville, joined the Marines out of high school and also served as a SWAT team paramedic, Nashville Police Chief John Drake told Fox.

In 2020, he rushed to the scene after Anthony Quinn Warner, a demented 63-year-old conspiracy theorist, detonated a bomb in his RV around 6:30 a.m. Christmas morning.

The blast killed Warner and damaged dozens of downtown buildings, including an AT&T facility that took power out over large swaths of Nashville.

Meanwhile Engelbert, a four-year police department veteran and one of the first officers on the scene Monday, received a department commendation just one week earlier for “precision policing” after two busts that recovered dozens of stolen credit cards and took a handgun, meth and fentanyl off the streets.

“The seizures took two dangerous felons who had multiple outstanding warrants off the streets of downtown Nashville,” the department said in a statement Thursday.

2020 Christmas Day bombing in Nashville left eight injured.
The 2020 Nashville Christmas Day bombing shattered dozens of buildings and injured eight people, with the bomber, Anthony Quinn Warner, killed in the blast.
Getty Images

“We are so thankful for their dedication to keeping our city safe.”

The two cops’ swift response to Monday’s school shooting was so precise and effective one expert called the bodycam footage “a training video”.

“Look at the minute they heard shots fired,” veteran police trainer Betsy Brantner Smith, spokesperson for the National Police Associated, told Fox. “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,” Smith said. “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.”

Hale, 28, who was transgender, was shot and killed by the two officers.

Smith called Collazo “a person of selfless service.

“Marine, firefighter, cop,” she said. “It doesn’t get any more heroic than that.”

Police Officer Rex Engelbert's bodycam of Monday's school shooting.
Nashville Police Officer Rex Engelbert fired the first shots that downed Covenant School Shooter Audrey Hale on Monday, dramatic bodycam footage shows.
Metropolitan Nashville Police Department

Police officer Michael Collazo;s bodycam of Monday's school shooting.
Nashville Police Officer Michael Collazo fired the final shots that killed Covenant School shooter Audrey Hale on Monday, with the incident caught on dramatic bodycam video.
Metropolitan Nashville Police Department

She called Monday’s response to the school the “antithesis” of the controversial slow police response to last year’s shooting to the massacre at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas that left 19 children and two adults dead.

Dave Katz, a former DEA special agent and now CEO of Globa Security Group, said Collazo and Engelbert both should be hailed for their actions.

“These guys need to be recognized and honored,” Katz said. “Our president should bring these guys both to the White House and put a medal on their chests.”

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