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Everything we know about the Nashville private Christian elementary school shooting



Three nine-year-old children and three adults died after a shooting at a private Christian grade school in Nashville, Tennesse.

The suspect, a 28-year-old woman, is also dead after being confronted and killed by police at The Covenant School in the Green Hills suburb of the city.

The shooting comes as the US is recovering from several recent gun violence incidents at schools, including the mass shooting at an elementary school in Uvalde, Texas last year, a first-grade student shooting his teacher in Virginia, and a shooting in Denver, Colorado where two school administrators were wounded.

This is everything we know so far:

Police were called shortly after 10am CT on Monday 27 March and responded to an active shooter situation at the school, which is connected to a church.


A Vanderbilt University Medical Center spokesperson said that three “pediatric patients were transported to Monroe Carell Jr Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt, all having suffered gunshot wounds”.

“All three were pronounced dead after arrival,” the spokesperson added. Three adults were also killed in the shooting.

Police officers were seen with rifles, vests, and helmets moving through the school parking lot and around the school building on Monday morning.

The suspect

The suspect in the Nashville school shooting is 28-year-old Nashville woman Audrey Elizabeth Hale, police have said.

Hale, who officials say was a former student at Covenant Presbyterian Church School, was shot dead by police on an upper floor of the school.

She had shot open a side door before opening fire on students and staff with two assault-style rifles and a handgun.


Metro Nashville Police Chief John Drake said Hale was not believed to have any previous criminal record.

He said a “manifesto” and a map of the school grounds showing entrances had been found at her home.

Only one officer was injured, from cut glass. Two officers from a team of five engaged the suspect and shot her, police said.

Nashville police confirm seven dead including shooter after Christian school shooting

The former acting director of the FBI, Andrew McCabe, said on CNN that it’s “exceedingly rare” for mass shooters to be women.

An FBI investigation found that men were behind 98 per cent of all active shooter incidents in 2021 and that out of 250 active shooter incidents between 2000 and 2018, nine involved women.


The Victims

Students Evelyn Dieckhaus, Hallie Scruggs, and William Kinney, all aged nine, died in the shooting.

Katherine Koonce, 60, is listed on The Covenant School’s website as “head of school” and was one of the adult victims of the shooting say police. The other adult victims were named as Cynthia Peak and Mike Hill, both were 61.

The timeline

Police were called to the scene at 10.13am local time and the suspect was shot and killed 14 minutes later, at 10.27am.

Mr Aaron told the press that police were going through the first floor when they heard gunshots from upstairs.

“They immediately went to the gunfire,” Mr Aaron told the press, adding that the suspect entered the school via a side entrance and went to the second floor, “firing multiple shots”.

The confrontation between officers and the suspect then took place on the second floor in a “lobby-type area”.


The shooting was initially reported by the school on social media at about 10.30am on Monday.

The school

The shooting took place at The Covenant School – the Presbyterian institution has around 200 students from preschool to sixth grade.


The school was founded in 2001 as a ministry of Covenant Presbyterian Church, the school’s website states.

It’s located in Green Hills, southwest of downtown Nashville.

The school employs 33 teachers, according to the site, which includes the motto “Shepherding Hearts, Empowering Minds, Celebrating Childhood”.


The reaction

During an event in Washington, DC on Monday, First Lady Jill Biden said, “we just learned about another shooting in Tennessee. A school shooting. And I am truly without words. Our children deserve better. And we stand, all of us, we stand with Nashville in prayer”.

Nashville Mayor John Cooper tweeted, “in a tragic morning, Nashville joined the dreaded, long list of communities to experience a school shooting”.

“My heart goes out to the families of the victims. Our entire city stands with you,” he added. “As facts continue to emerge, I thank our first responders and medical professionals.”

Jozen Reodica works in an office building in the area which went into lockdown as sirens blared.

“I thought I would just see this on TV,” she told the AP. “And right now, it’s real.”

White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre told the press that President Joe Biden has been briefed on the shooting. He’s calling on Congress to pass tougher gun laws.


“We want to express the President’s appreciation for the first responders and prayers for all the families affected by this shooting,” she said on Monday. “While we don’t know yet all the details in this latest tragic shooting, we know that too often our schools and communities are being devastated by gun violence. Schools should be safe spaces for our kids to grow and learn and for our educators to teach.”

“We must do more. And he wants Congress to act because enough is enough,” she added.

“In his State of the Union, the president called on Congress to do something to stop the epidemic of gun violence, tearing families apart, tearing communities apart,” she said. “How many more children have to be murdered before Republicans in Congress will step up and act to pass the assault weapons ban to close loopholes in our background check system or to require the safe storage of guns.”

“We need to do something — once again the President calls on Congress to do something before another child is senselessly killed in a preventable act of gun violence,” she added.

“What we’re seeing today what we’re seeing in schools and communities across this country is unacceptable,” the press secretary said. “Our children should be able to go to school feeling safe, feeling protected. People should be able to go to grocery stores feeling safe. And what we saw today is devastating. It’s heartbreaking for any American any parent across the country or any American, and so that’s why this President has been very clear from day one, he is going to continue to fight for those communities.”

Shannon Watts, the founder of Moms Demand Action, an anti-gun violence group, slammed Tennessee Governor Bill Lee.

“Tennessee @GovBillLee hasn’t had time yet to tweet his thoughts and prayers for Covenant School, but when he does, remind him that this is exactly why police and citizens opposed the permitless carry bill he signed into law at a gun maker’s factory in 2021,” Ms Watts tweeted.


“SCHOOL SHOOTINGS ARE NOT ACTS OF NATURE,” she added. “They are senseless, preventable acts of man enabled by weak gun laws and lawmakers. This doesn’t have to be our new normal. Our children don’t have to be sacrificed in exchange for gun industry profits. We can stop this.”

Georgia Republican Congresswoman Marjorie Taylor Greenetweeted: “My prayers are with the victims and families at the Covenant School in Nashville. Another absolutely horrific needless tragedy. Children and school staff should always be protected the same way politicians, money, precious stones, and gold are protected, but even more so, by good guys with guns.”

“Thank God for good guys with guns and thank God a good guy with a gun killed the evil mentally deranged shooter today,” she added. “Joe Biden’s gun-free school zones have endangered children at schools leaving them as innocent targets of sick horrible disturbed people ever since he worked as a Senator to pass this foolish law. What a fool. What a failure.”

“Gun grabbers like Joe Biden and Democrats should give up their Secret Service protection and put themselves on the same level as our unprotected innocent precious children at school,” she said. “School shootings should NEVER happen and will end immediately when our nation’s children are defended the same way Joe Biden is by good guys with guns!!! End this now.”

Source: Independent


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