NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Metropolitan Nashville Police Chief John Drake identified two police personnel who fatally shot the mass murderer at Covenant School on Monday as Officer Rex Englebert and Officer Michael Collazo. They neutralized the killer, identified as transgender 28-year-old Audrey Elizabeth Hale, bringing an end to a shooting that left six victims, including three children, dead.
“Chief John Drake and the men and women of the MNPD join all of Nashville in mourning today’s deaths of six innocent persons, three nine-year-olds and three adults, at the hands of an active shooter at Covenant Church/School on Burton Hills Drive,” a statement from the Nashville Police read.
Officer Englebert has been with MNPD for four years. Officer Collazo is a nine-year law enforcement veteran. They were part of a team that tactically moved toward the suspect and ended the threat.
MNPD Officers Rex Engelbert, a 4-year veteran, and Michael Collazo, a 9-year veteran, were part of a team of first responders to the Covenant campus Mon morning. They fired on the active shooter, who was killed. This is their body camera footage. https://t.co/17qsZM6bNp pic.twitter.com/g4b0nMTFRD
— Metro Nashville PD (@MNPDNashville) March 28, 2023
Hale fired at officers who were arriving on scene from windows on the second floor before they swept the building and found her in a common room, according to Chief Drake, Fox News Digital reported.
“The first call to 911 about shots being fired in the building came in at 10:13 a.m. 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 (she had been firing through a window at arriving police cars). Two members of an officer team fired on Hale and fatally wounded her,” Chief Drake said.
Responding units were quickly at the scene and managed to deploy and take out the homicidal suspect within 15 minutes of the initial shots being fired by Hale.
On Monday afternoon, Chief Drake identified Hale as biological female who lived as a transgender, using male pronouns on a LinkedIn profile, according to Fox.
The community is mourning the victims, who were identified as Evelyn Dieckhaus, William Kinney, and Hallie Scruggs, all age nine, as well as Mike Hill, 61, Cynthia Peak, 61, and Katherine Koonce, 60.
Hale was a student at the school many years ago, police said. She arrived on campus driving her Honda Fit. The woman was heavily armed, carrying two rifles and a handgun.
MNPD released surveillance video that showed Hale shot her way into the church/school through a set of glass doors at a side entrance of the building. Police also discovered writings belonging to Hale in a nearby vehicle that revealed her attack was “calculated and planned.”
Police served a search warrant at Hale’s Brightwood Avenue home and seized a sawed-off shotgun as well as a second shotgun, authorities said, according to Fox.
The shooting remains under investigation by MNPD along with assistance from the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation (TBI), Tennessee Highway Patrol, FBI and ATF.