Six people, including three children, were killed in a shooting at a Nashville school on Monday, according to the Metro Nashville Police Department.
The big picture: The suspect was shot and killed by police and has been identified as a 28-year-old former student of Nashville where the shooting took place, the department said.
Police released video from the incident on Monday night, noting that the suspect began shooting into the building while armed with two “assault-type guns and a 9 millimeter pistol.”
The MNPD in a statement late Monday called the attack “calculated and planned.”
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Officers responded to a call of shots fired at the school at 10:13am local time Monday.
A “team of five immediately within the school went to where gunshots were being heard and engaged the suspect,” Metro Nashville Police Chief John Drake said during a news briefing.
The shooter entered the school through a side entrance and went from the first floor to the second floor, firing multiple shots, police spokesperson Don Aaron said.
The suspect fired through a window at arriving police cars, the MNPD said in its statement late Monday.
Two of the officers opened fire on the shooter and fatally wounded the suspect, police said.
By 10:27am, the shooter had been confirmed dead, making the police response time about 14 minutes.
What we know about the victims and the school
Three adult staff members and three children were killed in the shooting.
The victims were identified as Evelyn Dieckhaus, Hallie Scruggs and William Kinney, all age 9; and Cynthia Peak, 61, Mike Hill, 61, and Katherine Koonce, 60, who was the head of school.
Nashville is a private school that was founded in 2001 as a ministry of Covenant Presbyterian Church. It serves children in grades preschool through sixth grade.
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What we know about the suspect
Police identified the suspect as Audrey Hale, of Nashville.
Drake said Hale had drawn detailed maps of the school, including of surveillance and entry points. “We know and believe entry was gained through shooting through one of the doors,” he added.
Officers seized evidence including a “sawed-off shotgun” and a second shotgun in a search of the suspect’s home, police said in a statement late Monday.
“We have a manifesto, we have some writings that we’re going over that pertain to this date,” the police chief said at an afternoon news conference. “We have a map drawn out of how this was all gonna take place.”
In response to a reporter’s question, police confirmed Hale identified as transgender but provided no further details on this at the press conference. Police later said Hale was a biological female but had a social media account with male pronouns.
What they’re saying
President Biden who later spoke with Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee (R) and Nashville Mayor John Cooper (D) about the shooting, described the incident as “heartbreaking” during a briefing Monday.
“It’s ripping our communities apart, ripping at the very soul of the nation,” he said.
“We have to do more to protect our schools so they aren’t turned into prisons,” Biden added. “So I call on Congress, again, to pass my assault weapons ban.”
Meanwhile, the school issued a statement to media on Monday night saying the community was heartbroken.
“We are grieving tremendous loss and are in shock coming out of the terror that shattered our school and church,” the statement added.
“We are focused on loving our students, our families, our faculty and staff and beginning the process of healing.”
The school said it was grateful to first responders “who acted quickly to protect our students, faculty and staff,” and appreciated the support it received as it continued to “prioritize the well-being of our community.”
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