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Nashville Heroes Talk About Confronting, Terminating School Shooter by S.H. BLANNELBERRY

The heroes who terminated the gunman at The Covenant School in Nashville, Tennessee last week are speaking out.

Officer Rex Engelbert of the Metropolitan Nashville Police Department led the charge.

Upon entry, it took him approximately 2 minutes and 15 seconds to engage the 28-year-old shooter.

“I really had no business being where I was,” Engelbert said after he responded to the call of an “active shooter” while en route to the Police Academy for routine administrative tasks.

“You can call it fate or God or whatever you want. I can’t count on my hands the irregularities that put me in that position when the call for service went out for an active deadly aggressor at a school,” he said.

Engelbert was joined by Detective Sgt. Jeff Mathes.  The two men had never met before.  But along with several others, they answered the call to go inside the private Christian school to stop the shooter.

“I had never seen Rex in my life,” Mathes explained, as reported by WSMV. “When we got there, he had already unlocked the door. Not knowing what I was going into, I walked through that door without hesitation.”

The responding officers immediately ran toward the gunfire.

“I looked for the nearest staircase I could find, because I could tell [the gunfire] was above my head,” said Englebert, who added, “I couldn’t get to it fast enough.”

Police Chief John Drake applauded the actions of his men.

“They did what we were trained to do,” Drake said. “They got prepared and went right in – knowing that every moment wasted could cost lives.”

“Their efforts also saved lives,” he continued. “They were able to protect these kids as well.”

“No one ever said it would be easy,” Drake said. “But they said it would be worth it. I’m totally proud of my men for what they did.”

2 replies on “Nashville Heroes Talk About Confronting, Terminating School Shooter by S.H. BLANNELBERRY”

Since the Columbine massacre 9 years ago, few if any trainers any longer advocate delaying for a formal SWAT call-out, which can take 30 minutes or more in some areas. But commonly a hasty assembly of 3 or more officers for a search-and-confrontation team is recommended, with coordinated movement tactics taught accordingly.

To trainer Ron Borsch, a 30-year law enforcement veteran who manages the small SEALE (South East Area Law Enforcement) Regional Training Academy in Bedford, Ohio, that’s a deadly waste of time when seconds can mean lives.

Based on his on-going research of active-shooter realities, he’s convinced that single-officer entries can potentially lessen the toll of casualties while exposing the responders involved to little additional risk. Although popular law enforcement literature has just lately begun to explore the single-officer concept, Borsch has promoted the idea to in-service trainees for more than 2 years and has taught solo- and 2-officer entry-action models in academy courses for the past year. And he finds that administrators whose officers are exposed to this approach generally accept it enthusiastically.

(from 2008)

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