CHICAGO — Two police officers, including one who is from the Chicago area, are being hailed as heroes after taking down the Nashville private school shooting suspect Monday.
Metropolitan Nashville Police Department officer Rex Engelbert grew up in Forest Glen before moving to Ohio to study criminal justice at the University of Dayton, after which, he moved to Tennessee with his significant other and became a police officer.
Engelbert, who’s now 27, is a four-year veteran of the MNPD who was one of two officers credited with firing at the suspect and ending their shooting spree.
“They heard gunfire and immediately ran to that,” said MNPD Chief John Drake.
Metro police said that Engelbert and fellow officer Michael Collazo rushed into the building, meeting the suspect on the second floor, where they opened fire and stopped the shooter.
“I’m just extremely proud of him and thankful that he’s okay,” said Kevin Engelbert, Rex’s older brother. “It’s a tragedy beyond my words for everyone involved, but I’m glad that his training and his fortitude held through.”
Before studying criminal justice in college, Engelbert attended Queen of All Saints School on the Far Northwest Side of the City before attending Loyola Academy for high school, where he played football, and graduated from in 2014.
“One of the things about Loyola is the motto is, ‘men and women for others,'” said Tim Feldheim, assistant football coach at Loyola Academy. “And obviously, Rex chose a life of service, so you’re obviously really proud.”
Feldheim wasn’t Engelbert’s position coach in high school, but he remembers him from Engelbert’s time as a player in the program, noting that he was always quiet and hardworking, and saying that he’s proud he was there for his community.
“It’s a terrible tragedy and you’re saddened by the fact that 9-year-old children are losing their lives,” Feldheim said. “I guess you can take some solace that somebody who’s dedicated themselves to a life of service had stepped up and showed great bravery.”
President Joe Biden spoke separately with Engelbert, Collazo and police chief Drake Tuesday, thanking them for their bravery and quick response to the shooting at the Covenant School in Nashville.