On Tuesday, Nashville police released heart pounding bodycam footage of the moment their officers shot and killed the Covenant School shooter, just one day removed from the incident.
NPR reports the video shows officer Michael Collazo, a nine-year police veteran, entering the Covenant School on its first floor. He is accompanied by a small group of officers. A loud alarm is going off in the building.
Once inside, Collazo tells another officer, “rifle first, go, go, go.” They quickly start making their way through the building when they hear faint gunshots.
They then quickly make their way to the 2nd floor. The shooter had reportedly opened fire on cops from a 2nd floor window.
As they arrive upstairs, another officer can be heard saying “we’ve got one down.” Collazo then says “keep pushing.” At that point, a flurry of gunshots can be heard close by.
The officers head toward the gunfire. Collazo tells the officer in front him… “to the right!,” at which point a very loud tatter of gunshots rings out.
The shooter had just been shot by other officers that got there first and is on the ground. Officer Collazo then steps up immediately from behind to fire four more shots at the suspect, as he lay on the ground under a window.
The perpetrator is now revealed as 28-year-old Audrey Hale… a mentally disturbed trans man who they believe previously attended the Christian grade school. He was originally identified as a woman until authorities realized he goes by he/him pronouns.
The first emergency call about the incident came in at 10:13 AM – it’s reported officials were on-site just a few minutes later. The entire situation was over in only 14 minutes, however not soon enough to save six innocent victims – three teachers and three nine-year-old children.
Aubrey Hale had three weapons – an AR-15 long gun, AR-15 handgun, and a pistol. Police say he bought them all legally, amongst a batch of seven guns sold to him at five different locations.
Hale can be seen using his AR-15 rifle blasting through the locked doors of the school to get to the children, the school’s security measures no match for his AR-15 firepower.
Covenant School is affiliated with Nashville’s Covenant Presbyterian Church. On Monday, they issued this statement:
“Our community is heartbroken. We are grieving tremendous loss and are in shock coming out of the terror that shattered our school and church.”
Law enforcement analysts say Aubrey Hale was intent on creating a suicide-by-cop scenario by his methods. They say he surveilled the school and several other sites, well in advance.
Nashville Police Chief John Drake told reporters Hale was in treatment for an emotional disorder. A logical question would be – how was he able to legally purchase an arsenal of high-powered weaponry?
Authorities still have not pinned down a clear motive for the attack, but the investigation is only just beginning. We’ll bring you updates as soon as they are available.
Until the next time it drips…