NASHVILLE, Tennessee -- March 27 is a day Detective Michael Collazo, Sergeant Jeff Mathes, and Officer Rex Englebert will never forget. For the first time since the shooting at the Covenant School in Nashville that left six people dead, including three nine-year-old children, the officers are speaking out.
They detailed every second it took them to find the shooter. Every critical moment was captured on Collazo and Englebert's body cameras. Their previous drill experience kicked in.
"Very similar to the training before this incident, the stress that our academy had exposed to," said Englebert.
"When we went through the doors, shots continued," said Mathes, "From training, I knew they were rifles. We went up the stairs and got to a second floor hallway. Once in that hallway, the smell of gunpowder was in the air."
Collazo said he didn't know if the shooter was to the left or right.
"Smoke everywhere - heard the shot and realized where," Collazo said.
The officers shot and killed the 28-year-old gunman identified as Audrey Hale, a former student at the school. A motive for the shooting is still under investigation.
The Nashville Police Chief thanked the educators for their role in protecting the students and staff. They were also grateful to these men in uniform, who were among the first to arrive to the scene.