Authorities said a female shooter armed with two “assault-style” rifles and a pistol killed three pupils and three adults at a private Christian school in Nashville on Monday. After being shot by police, the suspect also died.
The incident occurred at The Covenant School, a Christian school with approximately 200 pupils ranging from preschool to sixth grade.
The killings come as towns throughout the country are grieving from a string of school violence, including last year’s massacre at an elementary school in Uvalde, Texas; a first-grade student who murdered his teacher in Virginia; and a shooting last week in Denver that injured two administrators.
According to police, the shooter seemed to be in her twenties.
When the victims arrived at Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital and Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville, they were confirmed dead.
Some pupils walked to safety Monday, leaving their school surrounded by police cars, to a nearby church to be reunited with their parents.
Monday morning, police officers with rifles, thick vests, and helmets were observed walking through the school parking lot and along the grassy perimeter of the facility. WTVF helicopter footage also showed the authorities scanning a wooded area between the college and a neighbouring road.
Jozen Reodica heard police sirens and fire vehicles blaring outside her adjacent office building. Once her building was put on lockdown, she got out her phone and began filming the mayhem.
“I figured I’d just see it on TV,” she explained. “And it’s real right now.”
Hannah McDonald, a reporter for WTVF TV, stated that her mother-in-law works at The Covenant School’s front desk. McDonald stated during a live broadcast that the woman had gone outside for a break and was returning when she heard gunfire. The reporter stated that she was unable to communicate with her mother-in-law, but that her husband had.
According to the school’s website, the Covenant School was created in 2001 as a mission of Covenant Presbyterian Church. The institution sits in the affluent Green Hill neighbourhood just south of downtown Nashville, among the city’s leading universities and the legendary Bluebird Café, a favourite hangout for singers and songwriters.
According to the website, the grade school has 33 instructors. The motto of the school is “Shepherding Hearts, Empowering Minds, Enjoying Childhood.”
Democratic state Rep. Bob Freeman, whose district contains The Covenant School, described the massacre as a “unimaginable tragedy” on Monday.
“I live around the block from Covenant and frequently pass by it.” “I have pals who go to church and school there,” stated Freeman in a statement. “I’ve also been to the church before.” It breaks my heart to watch this.”