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SEC honors Nashville police who stopped Covenant School shooter

Four members of the Metropolitan Nashville Police Department were honored on Monday during the opening day of the Southeastern Conference Media Days for their “quick and heroic” response to the Covenant School shooting on March 27 that left three students and three adults dead. 

Commissioner Greg Sankey welcomed to the stage four of the five members of law enforcement that “engaged” with the shooter, who was eventually gunned down.  

SEC Commissioner Greg Sankey speaks to the media

SEC Commissioner Greg Sankey speaks during Day 1 of 2023 SEC Media Days at Grand Hyatt Nashville on July 17, 2023 in Nashville, Tennessee. (Johnnie Izquierdo/Getty Images)

“We mourned with Nashville as we watched in horror on our television screens in March a mass shooting at the Covenant school that will cause not to forget the loss of six innocent lives both children and adults,” Sankey said.

NASHVILLE POLICE OFFICERS AT CHRISTIAN SCHOOL SHOOTING GIVE HARROWING FIRSTHAND ACCOUNT OF TAKING OUT SUSPECT

“Today’s leaders and tomorrow’s leaders senselessly killed in one individual’s act of violence.”

He continued, “We know that day, March 27, could’ve been worse if not for quick and heroic action by members of the Nashville Metropolitan Police Department.”

SEC Commissioner Greg Sankey honors law enforcement

SEC Commissioner Greg Sankey, right, recognizes members of the Metro Nashville Police Department who responded to the fatal mass shooting at Covenant School during the 2023 SEC Football Kickoff Media Days at the Nashville Grand Hyatt on Broadway, Monday, July 17, 2023. They are, from left to right, Det. Michael Collazo, Det. Zachary Plese, Sgt. Jeff Mathes and Det. Ryan Cagle. The fifth officer involved in the incident, Officer Rex Engelbert, was not able to attend. (Denny Simmons / The Tennessean / USA TODAY NETWORK)

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Detective Ryan Cagle, Sgt. Jeffrey Mathes, Detective Zachary Plese and Detective Michael Collazo received a round of applause. Sankey noted that they would also be honored as guests at the 2024 SEC men’s basketball tournament. 

“Words and gestures are one thing, but they really don’t express our appreciation for the service, the leadership and the commitment by dedicated individuals serving to help, support and respond in times of emergency to our communities.” 

a memorial at the entrance to The Covenant School

A woman wipes away tears as she visits a memorial at the entrance to The Covenant School on Wednesday, March 29, 2023, in Nashville, Tennessee. (AP Photo/Wade Payne)

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An armed shooter entered into the Tennessee private Christian grade school on March 27 armed with two “assault-type rifles” and a handgun, police said at the time. 

The shooter, a Nashville resident who identified as a transgender woman, was stopped by police officers on the second floor. 

Fox News’ Anders Hagstrom and Louis Casiano contributed to this report.


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