Nashville police release body cam footage of response to Covenant School shooting

Nashville police have released body cam footage recorded by two of the officers who responded to Monday’s shooting at the city’s Covenant School, showing the quick response by law enforcement officers in engaging and neutralizing the shooter.


The video, which can be accessed below, show the first responding officers wasted little time after arriving at the school before making entry. Within 60 seconds of Officer Rex Engelbert grabbing his rifle from the rear of his SUV, officers had made contact with school officials who informed them that students were locked down in their classrooms and had entered the school building.

Officers began searching the first floor of the school, but less than a minute after gaining entry headed to the second floor, responding to the sound of gunshots. A few seconds later, officers located the suspect and began firing, neutralizing them and ending the attack. It was a very different reaction than what we saw on the body cam footage from Robb Elementary in Uvalde, Texas, which might help to explain why it took so long for officials to release that particular footage.

As quickly as officers (and school officials) responded, it still took 14 minutes between the time of the first 911 call and the suspect being shot and killed by police. We’ll be talking more about those 14 critical minutes later today on Bearing Arms’ Cam & Co with BA contributor and Parkland dad Ryan Petty, whose daughter Alaina was murdered at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in 2018. Petty doesn’t fault police for their response time, but he does quote his friend Sheriff Grady Judd of Polk County, Florida, who says that when seconds count minutes don’t matter. As fast as the police response to Covenant School may have been, it still takes time for officers to get from Point A to Point B, and Petty believes this is another tragic example of why schools need to have an armed response on campus at all times, whether it’s a school resource officer or an armed school staffer, as is allowed under Florida law.


None of that takes away from the actions of the Nashville police officers who responded to Monday’s shooting. As my friend Ed Morrissey at Hot Air notes, there was no pussyfooting around or waiting to establish a chain of command while shot were still being fired inside the school.

The response in Nashville demonstrated no such hesitation, as the video clearly shows. The tactical lead in this assault kept ordering the team to “push,” deploying in rotational tactical order to advance on the threat even in the face of potential gunfire. When they came across the shooter, they did not hesitate to fire on her while she was firing on others.

The tactics of the Metropolitan Nashville Police and the assertiveness of its officers paid off in ending the threat to more lives at Covenant School. Although this is what people expect of law enforcement, it does not make these officers any less heroic in their performance yesterday.

That’s absolutely correct. These officers ran towards the danger, rather than sitting and waiting for the murderous rampage to play itself out. They should be commended for their actions, but we should also be asking how we can ensure an even faster response to a targeted attack in the future. As Democrats in Denver have belatedly realized, having an armed presence already on campus is key to saving as many lives as possible, but its time for every school district and private school in the country to seriously reckon with their own policies that may be putting students and staff at greater risk if their campus is ever targeted by a monster committed to killing as many innocent lives as they can.


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