What we know about the Nashville school shooting

What we know about the Nashville school shooting

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 The Covenant School, 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.”
What happened
  • 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. The officers have been identified as Rex Engelbert, a four-year MNPD veteran, and Michael Collazo, a nine-year MNPD veteran.
  • By 10:27 am, the shooter had been confirmed dead, making the police response time about 14 minutes.
A screenshot of a Nashville police tweet  on the school shooting stating,
Photo: Metro Nashville Police Department/Twitter
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.
  • The Covenant School 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.
  • The victims appear to be chosen at random, per Drake.
  • The police chief told CBS that police “strongly believe” other targets were possible “including maybe family members and one of the malls here in Nashville.”
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.
  • “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.”
  • Investigators have not yet determined a specific motive, Drake said Tuesday, though the school, which Hale attended, was intentionally targeted.
  • Hale was being treated by a doctor for “an emotional disorder,” the police chief said Tuesday.
  • In response to a reporter’s question, police confirmed Hale identified as transgender but provided no further details on it at the press conference. Police later said Hale was a biological female but had a social media account with male pronouns.
What we know about the weapons used
  • Drake told reporters Tuesday that Hale had legally purchased seven guns from local gun stores. Three of the weapons were found at The Covenant School.
  • The police chief said Hale’s parents did not think Hale should own weapons and were only aware of one of the firearms, which they thought had been sold.
  • But Hale had hidden the firearms around the house, Drake said.
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 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.”
Photo: Sen. Bill Hagerty (R-Tenn.)/Twitter

Go deeper: At least 57 killed, 133 injured in 38 U.S. mass shootings this month

Editor’s note: This article has been updated with additional details throughout. Axios’ Adam Tamburin contributed to this report.

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