SUNDAY, March 03, 2024

Woman kills 3 kids, 3 adults in Nashville school shooting

Woman kills 3 kids, 3 adults in Nashville school shooting

A 28-year-old woman armed with several guns opened fire on Monday at a private Christian school she once attended in Nashville, Tennessee's capital city, killing three children and three adult staffers before police killed her, authorities said.

There was no immediate official word on a possible motive for the gun violence, which unfolded on a warm spring morning not long after classes began at The Covenant School, whose students consist mostly of elementary school-age children.

The woman was carrying at least two semi-automatic rifles and a handgun, police said.

The Metropolitan Nashville Police Department began receiving calls at 10:13 a.m. of a shooter at the school, and arriving officers reported hearing gunfire coming from the building's second floor, police spokesperson Don Aaron told reporters.

Two officers from a five-member team shot the assailant in a lobby area, and she was pronounced dead by 10:27 a.m.

Deadly mass shootings have become commonplace in the United States in recent years, but a female attacker is highly unusual. Only four of 191 mass shootings catalogued since 1966 by The Violence Project, a nonprofit research centre, were carried out by a female attacker.

Police Chief John Drake later described the suspect as a 28-year-old woman from the Nashville area who "at one point was a student at this school." But her identity was not immediately made public.

Three students were pronounced dead after arriving at Monroe Carell Jr. Children's Hospital at Vanderbilt with gunshot wounds, John Howser, a hospital spokesperson, said in a statement. Three adult staff members were killed by the shooter, police said.

Student's parents were told to gather at the nearby Woodmont Baptist Church to be reunited with their children. Parents trickled out of the building with their youngsters in tow.

The Covenant School, founded in 2001, is a ministry of Covenant Presbyterian Church in the Green Hills neighbourhood of Nashville with about 200 students, according to the school's website. The school serves preschool through sixth graders and held an active shooter training program in 2022, WTVF-TV reported.

There have been 89 school shootings – defined as anytime a gun is discharged on school property – in the US so far in 2023, according to the K-12 School Shooting Database, a website founded by researcher David Riedman. Last year saw 303 such incidents, the highest of any year in the database, which goes back to 1970.

‘It's sick’ - Biden on Nashville school shooting

US President Joe Biden called on Congress to pass an assault weapons ban after six people were killed in a school shooting in Nashville.

According to Biden the shooter had two AK-47 and a pistol.

“I just want to speak very briefly about the school shooting in Nashville, Tennessee. You know, Ben (United States Senator Ben Cardin) and I have been doing this our whole careers, it seems, and it's just it's sick. You know, we're still gathering the facts of what happened and why. And we do know that as of now, there are a number of people who are not going to not make it, including children.”

“You know, the shooter in this situation reportedly had two assault weapons and a pistol, two AK-47s. So I call on Congress again to pass my assault weapons ban. It's about time that we began to make some more progress. But there's more to learn. But I just want to send my concern and hearts out to so many parents out there.”

The House of Representatives is controlled by Republicans; any new gun safety legislation is unlikely this year, key lawmakers say.

US First Lady Jill Biden said that America’s children “deserve better” following a shooting at a Christian school in Tennessee.

“We just learned about another shooting in Tennessee. A school shooting. And I am truly without words. And our children deserve better,” Jill Biden told a conference in Washington.