NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) — The sister of one of the officers who stopped the massacre at The Covenant School said she knew her brother was brave but didn’t realize how brave he is until she saw the body camera video from the shooting.
In an interview with News Nation, Deanna DeHart describes balancing pride for her brother Officer Michael Collazo’s actions with the sadness of the six lives lost after Monday’s shooting.
“I knew my brother was brave it wasn’t until I saw the video that I really processed how brave,” she said. “Proud is probably an understatement, but I don’t know how to put that into words.”
Deanna DeHart said her brother was prepared for this moment. In addition to being a marine veteran and a paramedic with MNPD’s SWAT Team, he was also one of the officers who responded to the 2020 Christmas Day bombing.
“We were very proud but at the same time very sad that he had to go through what he did,” she said. “That every one of those families and children had to go through what they did. But the fact that they came out of it the other end and they did save a lot of lives.”
According to an ABC interview with the grandfather of two Covenant students, during the 14 minutes of destruction, third graders were hiding under desks, hearing, smelling and seeing the gunfire and being covered by their teacher.
It’s a nightmare that would’ve lasted longer without the actions of Officer Collazo and Officer Rex Engelbert who both took down the shooter.
“When you go back and watched the videos all the guys there, not just him, every single one of them that walked into the building were heroes,” DeHart said.
She says her brother is doing as well as can be expected and he is aware of the support and love coming from his colleagues and the community.