The Nashville Police have released bodycam footage of its response to a terrorist shooting at Covenant Church school:
The six-minute clip is shot from the perspectives of Rex Engelbert and Michael Collazo, among the first two officers on the scene. It shows impressive bravery, determination, urgency, and skill. It’s not an exaggeration to say they probably saved numerous lives.
Their courage is also a reminder that if Uvalde cops responding to the Robb Elementary school mass shooting last year had shown any urgency or a modicum of bravery, rather than sitting around a parking lot and hallway debating what to do, they likely would have prevented the murders of many, if not all, of the 19 children and two teachers at the school. Recall that one of the officers had a rifle aimed at the shooter before he entered the school but didn’t take the shot because he was awaiting his boss’ permission.
I bring this up because the Uvalde police department is still floating rickety justifications for its cowardice and ineptitude. Last week, Texas Tribune ran a preposterous piece, making the case that cops had been “cowed by the Uvalde shooter’s military-style rifle.” Why, that’s politically convenient, isn’t it? A semi-automatic AR-15, according to the Tribune, drove the decision to wait for Border Patrol SWAT teams to engage the shooter. Not only did the Uvalde officers have a number of their own “assault rifles” and the training to go along with them, but they also possessed shields and other tools to help them. As far as we can tell, some of the Nashville police stormed the school with handguns.
Remember also that onlookers, knowing what was happening Robb Elementary, begged the cops to enter the school. Police threatened them with tasers. One of the senior officers would later lie about not knowing children had been shot — when, in reality, a 10-year-old had called 911 warning that there was a classroom “full of victims.” One of the teachers who was shot called her husband, who then tried to get in and save her. He was tackled. Marshals Service deputies drove 70 miles to confront the shooter, and the local cops were still standing around. It wasn’t until off-duty Border Patrol, one who had borrowed a shotgun from his barber, walked past Uvalde police standing in the hallway to enter the classroom that the shooter was neutralized.
These are obviously highly intense and perilous situations for cops. Maybe I’m being naïve, but I tend to believe most armed Americans would rush into a school to try and save children’s lives. As for the police, that’s the job. And Nashville police offered a textbook lesson on how to do it correctly.