Tennessee’s NASHVILLE – At a small, Christian primary school in Nashville early on Monday, a lady with a large number of weapons shot three pupils and three staff members to death, according to authorities.
Police engaged and killed the shooter at the private Covenant School, according to Nashville police spokesperson Don Aaron. According to investigators, the shooter was a 28-year-old woman from Nashville.
“At one point, she was a student at that institution – but I’m not sure what year, all of that,” Metro Nashville Police Chief John Drake said during a news conference. “There was a vehicle nearby that provided us information as to who she was,” he added.
Three children and two adults were rushed to Vanderbilt’s Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital with gunshot wounds. All five were pronounced dead there, according to Craig Boerner, a spokesperson for Vanderbilt University Medical Center. Aaron stated that the sixth victim was not taken to the hospital. Police did not disclose the ages of the victims.
Aaron said the shooter was armed with at least two “assault-type firearms” and a handgun. Authorities were in the process of identifying the shooter and the victims, he said.
“When schoolchildren and caretakers are the victims of senseless gun violence, this is the ultimate crime,” Davidson County District Attorney General Glenn Funk said at a press conference.
What happened during the shooting at Covenant School?
The shooter entered the school through a side entry and proceeded to the second level, “shooting many shots,” according to Aaron.
Drake stated that all doors were secured and that officers were investigating how she entered through the side entrance.
Around 10:13 a.m., police got a report of an active shooter, according to Aaron. Police reacted “quickly,” he added, entered the first level, and began cleaning the area. He claimed that they “immediately went to the gunshots.”
According to Aaron, two of the five policemen on the floor opened fire on the shooter, killing her by 10:27 a.m… Aaron stated that she was in a “lobby-type space,” not a classroom.
Metro Fire spokesperson Kendra Loney said rescue workers responded and attempted to save lives.
The remaining children were led out of the building by instructors and staff, and buses brought them to a location where they were reunited with their parents, according to Loney. “We’re sure they heard the chaos that was going on,” she stated.
According to Loney and Aaron, one police officer was injured by the cut glass in their hand. No one else was hurt, according to Aaron.
TBI Director David Rausch stated that the TBI will support the Metro Nashville Police Department’s probe. Special agents from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives and FBI officials were there.
We must take more action, says President Biden
The massacre was described as a “sick” crime by President Joe Biden, who also renewed his plea for Congress to outlaw assault rifles.
He remarked, “We need to take greater action to reduce gun violence.” “It is tearing our communities apart and tearing at the heart of the country. More needs to be done to safeguard our schools from becoming prisons.”
During her opening remarks at a National League of Cities event in Washington, Jill Biden mentioned the attack. “I honestly am at a loss for words, and our children deserve more,” she said. “We all stand in prayer with Nashville.”
What exactly is the Covenant School in Nashville?
According to its website, The Covenant School is a private school founded in 2001 that educates kids in pre-kindergarten through sixth grade. According to Aaron, the school has somewhat more than 200 pupils and 42 staff members on any given day.
The school is located on the premises of Covenant Presbyterian Church in Nashville’s Green Hills neighborhood, approximately 9 miles southeast of downtown. It’s right near a Nashville Fire Department station and less than a mile from the city’s main business sector.
Because the private school is run by a church, no Nashville police officers were assigned to it, according to Aaron. Police were analyzing school video, he said.
Parents from Convent School assemble at church
Hundreds of parents and observers gathered in a parking lot to await details as helicopters circled the location, which is surrounded by a residential and commercial zone.
Parents were queued up in the sanctuary of Woodmont Baptist Church to give police their children’s first and last names.
Vice Mayor Jim Shulman handed out bottled water to parents and family members in the sanctuary.
Children and instructors would arrive on school buses, according to officials.
This is the 89th shooting on school grounds this year
The K-12 School Shooting Database reports that this shooting is the 89th to occur on K–12 school property in 2023. An incident occurred last week at a high school in Colorado where a 17-year-old student shot and injured two teachers.
The nonprofit Gun Violence Archive, which classifies a mass shooting as one that leaves at least four people injured, reports that there have been 130 such incidents in the United States this calendar year.
Ashbey Beasley, an Illinois resident, heard gunfire on Monday morning while she was on vacation and about a block from the school. Beasley rushed over to the site since he had been at the Highland Park Fourth of July parade when the shooter started shooting last year.
After a press conference, she took over the microphones and asked, “Aren’t you weary of this? “Why does this keep happening?”
Tennessee officials are ‘heartbroken’ at the school shooting
Gov. Bill Lee of Tennessee stated he was “closely monitoring the awful situation.”
Nashville Mayor Jon Cooper congratulated first responders and medical personnel and expressed sympathy to the victims’ families. “In a terrible morning, Nashville joined the dreadful, long list of communities to experience a school shooting,” he posted on Twitter.
Sen. Marsha Blackburn of Tennessee said she was “heartbroken” to hear about the shooting. She said on Twitter: “My office is in communication with federal, state, and local officials, and we are prepared to help. Thank you to the first responders on the scene. Please join us in praying for those who have been touched.”
Adrienne Battle, the superintendent of Metro Nashville Public Schools, stated she was “grieving today over the horrible death of children and school employees right here in our town,” describing the shootings as an “unimaginable loss of life.”
“We don’t know all of the facts of how or why this happened, and we may never fully understand,” added Battle. “In reaction to the far too many, far too frequent incidences of school shootings across the country over the years, Metro Schools has invested significant resources to increase security at our sites.”