Officer Rex Engelbart, a ‘gentle giant’ from Chicago, was part of the team that put down the school shooting in Nashville


One of the officers who stopped the shooter who killed six people at The Covenant School in Nashville Monday morning is from Chicago.

And those who knew Rex Engelbart, including his brother, who called him a “gentle giant,” weren’t surprised to learn of his heroism.

Engelbart, a police officer with the Metropolitan Nashville Police Department, He was part of a team of five who enrolled in a small private Christian school just south of downtown Nashville after receiving a call from the shooter at about 10:15 a.m. He was shot on the second floor of the building. Upon hearing it, two police officers opened fire, killing the shooter at approximately 10:27 am.

Those officers were Engelbart and Michael Collazo, according to the department.

The six killers, three of whom were students, were identified by police as 28-year-old Audrey Hale.

The incident was captured on the following day body camera videowas released by the Nashville Police Department.

Engelbart grew up in the Jefferson Park neighborhood of the city. He attended the Queen of All Saints School in Saughanash and graduated in 2010.

Queen of All Saints principal Emily Carlson called him a “police hero” in a statement.

“I am proud of Officer Engelbart’s response to the tragedy in Nashville,” Carlson said. “His career as a police officer and his response to yesterday’s horrific events exemplifies the school creed of the Queen of All Saints, which encourages students to act with charity and put others before themselves. Queen of All Saints teachers Stacia Couturis and Sherry Pencala remember Rex as a kind and well-mannered student in a loyal, community-focused family. Prayers for Bill’s school community and all first responders.”

On March 27, 2023, Police Officer Rex Engelbert of the Metro Nashville Police Department, a four-year veteran, was part of the team of first responders to the Covenant campus. The police shot the shooter dead.

After spending time at Queen of All Saints, Engelbart attended Loyola Academy in Wilmette. He graduated in 2014.

“We recognize the critical role that Loyola Academy alumnus Rex Engelbart (Class of) ’14 played in his swift response to this tragic situation and we are committed to working with him every day. We pray for all first responders who are called upon to live a life of service to others, the school said in a statement released by spokesperson Lynn Egan.

“Loyola Academy joins the nation in mourning the tragic loss of life at The Covenant School in Nashville, Tennessee,” the statement said. “Our community is completely against violence. May our prayers, and those of many others, be a source of strength and comfort to families experiencing unimaginable loss. We stand in solidarity with the Covenant school community, first responders and law enforcement officers who acted quickly and courageously to save lives.”

Engelbart has been with the police department for four years, according to a tweet from the Nashville Police Department.

Engelbert’s older brother, Kevin, said Rex was always a “gentle giant” and thoughtful of his neighbors and friends. It is likely that it comes from

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Kevin Engelbart said he was “just proud” of his brother.

“His courage was shown in his actions,” Kevin Engelbart told the Tribune. “You can’t expect anything less.”

Rex Engelbert’s body camera video shows a woman telling police outside her school that her children are being held captive.

According to the video, three police officers, including Engelbert, armed with rifles, search the rooms one by one.

A policeman is shown climbing the stairs to the second floor and entering the lobby area. A barrage of gunfire ensues, and the officer shouts “Keep your hands off the guns” twice. The shooter is then shown motionless on the floor.

Contributed by Associated Press.

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Written by Natalia Chi

Chicago Popular; Chicago breaking news, weather and live video. Covering local politics, health, traffic and sports for Chicago, the suburbs and northwest Indiana.

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