SEC Honors Nashville Police Who Arrested Covenant School Shooter

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

Commissioner Greg Sankey welcomed four of the five members of the law enforcement that he «engaged» the shooter, who was ultimately shot dead.

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

«We cry with nashville as we watched in horror on our television screens in March a mass shooting at a Covenant school that will make us remember the loss of six innocent lives, both children and adults,» Sankey said.

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«Today’s leaders and tomorrow’s leaders senselessly murdered in an individual’s act of violence.»

He continued: «We know that day, March 27, could have been worse if not for the swift and heroic action of the members of the Metropolitan Nashville Police Department.»

SEC Commissioner Greg Sankey Honors Law Enforcement

SEC Commissioner Greg Sankey, right, acknowledges members of the Metro Nashville Police Department who responded to the fatal mass shooting at the Covenant School during the 2023 SEC Football Kick-Off Media Days at the Nashville Grand Hyatt on Broadway on 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 unable to attend. (Denny Simmons/The Tennessee/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 SEC 2024 Men’s Basketball Tournament.

«Words and gestures are one thing, but they don’t really express our appreciation for the service, leadership and commitment of dedicated people who serve to help, support and respond in times of emergency to our communities.»

a monument at the entrance to The Covenant School

A woman wipes 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 the private Tennessee Christian elementary school on March 27 armed with two «assault rifles» and a handgun, police said at the time.

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

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