Nashville – A 28-year-old gunman opened fire on a private Christian school in Nashville on Monday morning, ending in devastation.
The shooter killed six people, including three 9-year-old children and three adults.
Authorities believe they utilized a map to navigate the campus, leaving some documents behind and investigating a possible second assault location.
Authorities identified Audrey Hale as the shooter.
Hale, a former Covenant School student, is suspected of planning an attack against the school.
Metro Nashville Police Chief John Drake stated at a press conference that the suspect was equipped with three weapons when they entered the school through a side entrance.
Hale was dubbed “the female shooter” by police, and it was later revealed during a news conference that she was transgender.
Hale, as per a spokesperson, used male pronouns on media platforms.
The school shooting lasted 14 minutes, according to investigators.
The first report of gunshots was received at 10:13 a.m.
Audrey Hale died at 10:27 a.m., according to police spokesperson Don Aaron.
He highlighted that because the private school was run by the church, no school resource officer was assigned to monitor it.
Hale, according to officials, started fire on the first and second levels of the school.
When they heard gunshots, five officers on the scene hurried upstairs to investigate.
They hunted down Audrey Hale and shot her, according to Aaron.
Authorities confiscated Hale’s belongings during the incident, which included detailed school maps pinpointing surveillance and access points.
“We had some writings that we’re going over that pertain to this day, the actual incident,” said Drake.
“We have a map drawn out of how this was all going to take place.”
Hale contemplated targeting another location, but decided against it after doing a “threat assessment” owing to the site’s heavy security, according to authorities.
Drake also mentioned that the concert would have been held in Nashville.
Officers think Hale obtained two of the three firearms legally: an AR-style rifle, an AR-style pistol, and a handgun.
Authorities, according to Drake, are still looking into a motive, examining the shooter’s house, and interviewing the suspect’s father.
Hale graduated in 2022, according to the president of Nashville’s Nossi College of Art & Design.
According to his LinkedIn page, Hale is a freelance graphic designer and a part-time groceries shopper.
Nashville police recognized Evelyn Dieckhau, Hallie Scruggs, and William Kinney, all nine years old, on Monday afternoon.
The plant employed Cynthia Peak, 61, Katherine Koonce, 60, and Mike Hill, 61.
Koonce was the head of Covenant and has attended Vanderbilt University, Trevecca Nazarene University, and Georgia State University, according to the school’s website.
Hill was a Covenant caregiver and substitute teacher at the time of the event, according to Don Aaron.
The Nashville school shooting was the worst since a 2022 assault in Uvalde, Texas, which killed 21 people.
The Covenant School is a private Christian school for children in preschool through sixth grade that was created in 2001 as a branch of Covenant Presbyterian Church.
A big police and fire force was sent in to respond to the deadly assault.
They joined the family who had gathered outside the school to await the return of their loved ones as they approached the school.
Avery Myrick, whose mother worked at the school, said she received a text message from her mother saying she was hiding in a closet.
She could hear gunfire everywhere throughout campus.
Myrick’s mother, fortunately, was not hurt.
“Just getting that initial phone call that was OK, it obviously brings a ton of relief, but you’re still hurting for the people out there who may not get that call,” she said.
Meanwhile, Jozen Reodica, a Shearwater Health staffer, videotaped police escorting pupils out of the school on Monday.
The kids proceeded along the street in a line, holding hands.
Reodica became suspicious when she noticed police cars at the school across the street from where she works.
“They (the police) started to close down the road,” she said. “It happened so fast.”
“I saw a policeman run to the scene and then after a few minutes kids were already crossing.”
David Rausch, the director of the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation, indicated that the bureau was supporting the Metro Nashville Police Department with the investigation.
He then suggested that they look at the officer-involved shooting situation independently.
The footage from the school shooting is being evaluated by police.
Congress urged to do something
President Joe Biden made a proclamation during a press conference, calling the massacre “sick” and “heartbreaking.”
He also called Congress to pass gun safety measures.
“We have to do more to stop gun violence,” said Biden.
“It’s ripping our communities apart, ripping the soul of this nation, ripping at the very soul of the nation.”
“And we have to do more to protect our schools, so they aren’t turned into prisons.”
Meanwhile, Mayor Jon Cooper has planned a candlelight vigil for the victims early Wednesday evening.
The event will take place at One Public Square Park.
“It is important that we stand together on this dark day for Nashville,” he tweeted.
Nashville has also established a fund to assist the victims of the disaster.