Police in Nashville have released confronting bodycam video of officers responding to the primary school shooting that left six people dead.
The deadly incident on Monday at The Covenant School is the latest school shooting in the US. Three nine-year-old students were killed, as well as the head of the grade school, a custodian and a substitute teacher.
The suspect, Audrey Hale, 28, was a former student at the school who was shot dead by police. Authorities said the shooter did not target specific victims.
The footage released on Tuesday is from the body-worn cameras of officers Rex Engelbert and Michael Collazo, who police said fatally shot the attacker.
The videos show a group of five officers entered the school amid wailing fire alarms and immediately went into several rooms to look for the suspect.
It begins with a woman greeting police outside as they arrive at The Covenant School.
“The kids are all locked down, but we have two kids that we don’t know where they are,” she tells police.
The police heard gunfire on the second floor and so hurried up the stairs as the bangs grew louder, the video shows.
The officers approached the sound of gunfire and Engelbert, armed with an assault-style rifle, rounded a corner and fired multiple times at a person near a large window, who dropped to the ground, the video shows.
Collazo then pushed forward and appeared to shoot the person on the ground four times with a handgun, yelling “Stop moving!”
The officers finally approached the person, moved a gun away and then radioed “Suspect down! Suspect down!”
The video adds further insight into the timeline of the shooting and the police response. The first 911 call about the shooting came in at 10.13am, and the shooter was killed 14 minutes later, according to police.
The bodycam footage of Engelbert entering the school and shooting the attacker lasts about three to four minutes.
Nashville Police Chief John Drake praised the swift response of the officers.
“I was really impressed that with all that was going on, the danger, that someone took control and said ‘let’s go, let’s go, let’s go’ and went in and took care and just tried to end this situation.”
Drake also said Hale purchased at least seven guns legally and locally.
Drake said those seven firearms were purchased from five different gun stores in Nashville. Three of the guns were used during the shooting at Covenant School Monday, he said.
Police previously said the shooter was armed with a handgun and two AR-style weapons — one rifle and an AR-style pistol.
Drake said investigators have spoken to the parents of the shooter, Audrey Hale. They believed the shooter did buy at least one weapon, but eventually sold it.
The shooter’s parents also told police Hale had a red bag when Hale was leaving the house ahead of the shooting. They asked Hale what was in the bag, but ultimately dismissed it, thinking Hale didn’t own any weapons, according to Drake.
Police believe the shooter was hiding the guns in the house.
The attack was the 19th shooting at an American school or university in 2023 in which at least one person was wounded, according to a CNN tally, and the deadliest since the May attack in Uvalde, Texas, left 21 dead.
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Last modified: August 31, 2022