NATIONAL NEWS

Quick actions of Nashville officers saved lives, former Utah chiefs say

Mar 28, 2023, 3:37 PM

Nashville school shooting...

NASHVILLE, TN - MARCH 27: A law enforcement officer escorts a family from Woodmont Baptist Church where children were reunited with their families after a mass shooting at The Covenant School on March 27, 2023 in Nashville, Tennessee. According to initial reports, three students and three adults were killed by the shooter, a 28-year-old woman. The shooter was killed by police responding to the scene. (Photo by Seth Herald/Getty Images)

(Photo by Seth Herald/Getty Images)

NASHVILLE — The officers who stopped an active shooter at a Nashville elementary school on Monday did exactly what they were supposed to do.

That’s according to at least two veteran police chiefs in Salt Lake County who viewed the body camera video released Tuesday.

“Textbook,” is how Chris Bertram, a retired Salt Lake County chief sheriff’s deputy and current associate professor of criminal justice, described the actions of Nashville police.

Chris Burbank, vice president of law enforcement strategy for the Center for Policing Equity and former chief of the Salt Lake City Police Department, says “without a doubt,” the quick actions of the officers in Tennessee saved lives.

A 28-year-old gunman forcibly entered the Covenant School in Nashville on Monday and killed three children and three adults before being shot and killed by police. The first 911 call was received at 10:13 a.m. By 10:27 a.m., former Covenant student Audrey Hale, who was transgender, was shot by police.

Nashville police released body camera videos from two officers on Tuesday. The videos begin with officers about to enter the school. One officer is heard yelling, “Let’s go. I need three,” while another yells, “One more.”

“They formed an emergency action team,” Burbank told KSL.com.

Weeping child

After the mass shooting at Columbine High School in 1999, law enforcement agencies across the nation were trained on forming emergency action teams. The first three to four officers who arrive at the scene of an active shooter form a team whose goal is to essentially “go to where the problem is,” Burbank said.

Bertram said the Salt Lake County Sheriff’s Office and Unified Police Department constantly train in the same way, that the first three or four officers at a scene form a team and go in, then the next three to four officers who arrive form another team.

It’s the same tactic Salt Lake police used in 2007 to stop an active shooter at Trolley Square. The goal is to not search every nook and cranny in the building, but to go where the biggest problem is and stop it, the former chief said.

“Your job was not to rescue, it was to find the threat and stop the threat,” Bertram added.

In Nashville, officers are seen running between classrooms as they quickly clear each room. An officer can be heard several times yelling, “Let’s go!” to keep everyone moving at a brisk pace. When shots are heard on the second floor, the officers are seen in the videos immediately running toward where the shots came from and confronting the gunman.

“You watch these officers frantically looking,” Burbank said. “I’ve been through that training. That’s exactly what you’re supposed to do.”

The hurried nature of an emergency team puts officers in a little more danger than a normal standoff situation, he said. Adding: “That’s what has to be done.”

Bertram says he was impressed by the discipline of the Nashville officers and how they were able to recognize what weapon would be most useful for each area they checked, noting that the “team” of officers was armed with a handgun, shotgun, and assault rifle.

Some have already noted the contrast in the way Nashville police responded versus how officers in Uvalde, Texas, responded to a mass school shooting in 2022 that left 21 dead. Police in that incident waited over an hour before confronting the gunman.

“Uvalde was really the standout, ‘What the hell were you doing?’ It was so frustrating to watch,” Burbank said. “This one, they did a good job (in Nashville). They responded as best they could and as quickly as they could.”

Bertram says Uvalde was a good reminder for police departments nationwide about why training and being prepared are still so important.

“Complacency is the architect of our downfall,” he said. “The expectation of the public is we’ll be prepared.

“Whatever training they’re doing (in Nashville), it’s working,” Bertram said.

KSL 5 TV Live

National News

Estonia's capital of Tallinn is seen from a British Chinook helicopter on Wednesday, May 15, 2024. ...

Emma Burrows, Associated Press

Russia is waging a shadow war on the West that needs a collective response, Estonian leader says

Estonian Prime Minister Kaja Kallas says Russia is conducting a "shadow war" against the West. As the war in Ukraine takes a turn in Russia's favor, borders are being bolstered in the front-line Baltic nations of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania, as well as in Finland and Poland.

3 hours ago

Workers search through the remains of tornado-damaged property, Tuesday, May 21, 2024, in Greenfiel...

Hannah Fingerhut, Scott McFetridge, and Margery A. Back, Associated Press

Tornado devastates Iowa town, killing multiple people as powerful storms rip through Midwest

Multiple people were killed and at least a dozen were injured Tuesday as a tornado devastates a small Iowa town.

5 hours ago

AI could offer ‘enhanced opportunities’ to interfere in 2024 election, DHS warns as a voter cas...

Sean Lyngaas, CNN

AI could offer ‘enhanced opportunities’ to interfere in 2024 election, DHS warns

Artificial intelligence tools for creating fake video, audio and other content will likely give foreign operatives and domestic extremists “enhanced opportunities for interference” as the 2024 US election cycle progresses, the Department of Homeland Security said in a recent bulletin distributed to state and local officials and obtained by CNN.

10 hours ago

FILE - Matthew Perry poses for a portrait on Feb. 17, 2015, in New York. Authorities are investigat...

Associated Press

Matthew Perry’s death under investigation over ketamine level found in actor’s blood

An investigation has been opened into the death of Matthew Perry and how the “Friends” actor received the anesthetic ketamine, which was ruled a contributing factor in his death.

11 hours ago

Dr. Kathy Raven, a forensic pathologist testified Tuesday, May 21 in Chad Daybell's murder tria tha...

Daniel Woodruff

Forensic pathologist called by defense says Tammy Daybell’s cause of death ‘undetermined’

A forensic pathologist testified in the murder trial of Chad Daybell that his wife, Tammy Daybell's death would be best classified as "undetermined."

12 hours ago

Homer, Alaska, and the Homer Spit, jutting out into Kachemak Bay, is seen on June 9, 2021. Alaska S...

Mark Thiessen, The Associated Press

Moose kills Alaska man attempting to take photos of her newborn calves

A 70-year-old Alaska man who was attempting to take photos of two newborn moose calves was attacked and killed by their mother, authorities said Monday.

14 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

Electrician repairing ceiling fan with lamps indoors...

Lighting Design

Stay cool this summer with ceiling fans

When used correctly, ceiling fans help circulate cool and warm air. They can also help you save on utilities.

Side view at diverse group of children sitting in row at school classroom and using laptops...

PC Laptops

5 Internet Safety Tips for Kids

Read these tips about internet safety for kids so that your children can use this tool for learning and discovery in positive ways.

Women hold card for scanning key card to access Photocopier Security system concept...

Les Olson

Why Printer Security Should Be Top of Mind for Your Business

Connected printers have vulnerable endpoints that are an easy target for cyber thieves. Protect your business with these tips.

Modern chandelier hanging from a white slanted ceiling with windows in the backgruond...

Lighting Design

Light Up Your Home With These Top Lighting Trends for 2024

Check out the latest lighting design trends for 2024 and tips on how you can incorporate them into your home.

Technician woman fixing hardware of desktop computer. Close up....

PC Laptops

Tips for Hassle-Free Computer Repairs

Experiencing a glitch in your computer can be frustrating, but with these tips you can have your computer repaired without the stress.

Close up of finger on keyboard button with number 11 logo...

PC Laptops

7 Reasons Why You Should Upgrade Your Laptop to Windows 11

Explore the benefits of upgrading to Windows 11 for a smoother, more secure, and feature-packed computing experience.

Quick actions of Nashville officers saved lives, former Utah chiefs say