Meet Rex Engelbert, The Fearless Officer Who Dropped The Transgender Nashville Shooter

Image via Metropolian Nashville Police Department

James Lynch Contributor
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Nashville police officer Rex Engelbert was one of the officers who heroically shot Audrey Hale, the transgender mass shooter who killed six people at a Christian elementary school on Monday.

Engelbert, 27, is a four-year veteran of the Metropolitan Nashville Police Department, according to a press release. He was born and raised in Chicago and lives in Nashville, Tennessee, with his fiancé, NBC Chicago reported. (RELATED: Nashville Police Chief Says He ‘Can’t Confirm’ Whether Shooter Targeted Christian School For Religious Reasons)

“He’s incredibly passionate about what he does. He’s always been a gentle giant and he’s always there for those in need,” his brother, Kevin Engelbert, told the outlet.

Body camera footage released by the Nashville police shows Engelbert searching for Hale and eventually shooting her. At the beginning of the video, he can be seen picking up his rifle and walking into the building.

A woman outside the school directed Engelbert and the officers to go right in and find two children who were still missing.

“Let’s go,” an officer yelled as police entered the school searching for Hale. The officers searched through classrooms on the first floor as alarms blared in the background.

“It sounds like it’s coming from upstairs,” an officer said after they searched the first floor. The officers rushed upstairs through the hallway and moved in towards the shooter.

Engelbert pushed up to the front and fired first at the shooter without hesitation. Nine-year veteran Michael Collazo also fired at Hale, who fell dead on the floor, NBC Chicago reported.

Efficient, effective and thorough, plus they were extraordinarily fast with regards to the totality of the event,” law enforcement instructor Leon Spears said upon viewing the footage. “There was no hesitation and there was no quabbling, it was excellent from the standpoint of technique.” 

It should be the golden standard of any response,” Spears continued. The footage was slightly edited to blur out one of the victims and blur out the shooter’s dead body. Spears praised the “respectful edits” and the leadership of Nashville police chief John Drake.

Engelbert and Collazo are taking time off after the shooting, in accordance with department protocol, NBC Chicago reported. Nashville police are continuing to investigate the matter and provide information when it becomes available.

“I want to say thank you to our first responders who got there and immediately went in and addressed the threat of someone who had multiple rounds of ammunition, prepared for confrontation with law enforcement,” Drake said at a press conference.

Hale was a 28-year-old female who identified as transgender and used “he/him” pronouns. She reportedly planned the attack with detailed maps of the building’s entry points and left behind a manifesto police are still reviewing.