NATIONAL NEWS

3 children, 3 adults killed at Christian school in Nashville

Mar 27, 2023, 11:05 AM | Updated: 1:22 pm

A gunman carried out an "active shooter event" at the Covenant School, a private Christian elementa...

A gunman carried out an "active shooter event" at the Covenant School, a private Christian elementary school in Nashville, Tennessee, on Monday, March 27. Mandatory Credit: @MNPDNashville

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Authorities say they believe the 28-year-old female shooter who killed three children and three adults at a private Christian school in Nashville on Monday was a former student.

The violence at The Covenant School, a Presbyterian school for about 200 students from preschool through sixth grade, marks the latest in a series of mass shootings in a country growing increasingly unnerved by bloodshed in schools.

The suspect — who was wielding two “assault-style” rifles and a pistol — also died after being shot by police. Authorities said she was from the Nashville area. Her motive in the attack has not been determined.

The killings come as communities around the nation are reeling from a spate of school violence, including the massacre at an elementary school in Uvalde, Texas, last year; a first grader who shot his teacher in Virginia; and a shooting last week in Denver that wounded two administrators.

President Joe Biden called on Congress again to pass his assault weapons ban in the wake of the Nashville shooting.

“It’s heartbreaking, a family’s worst nightmare,” he said.

First lady Jill Biden also spoke about the slayings on Monday.

“I am truly without words. And our children deserve better,” she said during a National League of Cities conference in Washington. “We stand – all of us, we stand – with Nashville in prayer.”

The tragedy unfolded over roughly 14 minutes. Police received the initial call about an active shooter at 10:13 a.m.

Officers began clearing the first story of the school when they heard gunshots coming from the second level, police spokesperson Don Aaron said during a news briefing.

Two officers from a five-member team opened fire in response, fatally shooting the suspect at 10:27 a.m., Aaron said. He said there were no police officers present or assigned to the school at the time of the shooting because it is a church-run school.

The Covenant School’s victims were pronounced dead at the Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital and Vanderbilt University Medical Center. One officer had a hand wound from cut glass.

Other students walked to safety Monday, holding hands as they left their school surrounded by police cars, to a nearby church to be reunited with their parents.

“In a tragic morning, Nashville joined the dreaded, long list of communities to experience a school shooting,” Mayor John Cooper wrote on Twitter. “My heart goes out to the families of the victims. Our entire city stands with you.”

Jozen Reodica heard the police sirens and fire trucks blaring from outside her office building nearby. As her building was placed under lockdown, she took out her phone and recorded the chaos.

“I thought I would just see this on TV,” she said. “And right now, it’s real.”

On WTVF TV, reporter Hannah McDonald said that her mother-in-law works at the front desk at The Covenant School. The woman had stepped outside for a break Monday morning and was coming back when she heard gunshots, McDonald said during a live broadcast. The reporter said she has not been able to speak with her mother-in-law but said her husband had.

The Covenant School was founded as a ministry of Covenant Presbyterian Church in 2001, according to the school’s website. The school is located in the affluent Green Hills neighborhood just south of downtown Nashville, situated close to the city’s top universities and home to the famed Bluebird Café – a beloved spot for musicians and song writers.

The grade school has roughly 50 staff members. The school’s website features the motto “Shepherding Hearts, Empowering Minds, Celebrating Childhood.”

Top legislative leaders announced Monday that the GOP-dominant Statehouse would meet briefly later in the evening and delay taking up any legislation.

Republican Gov. Bill Lee said he was “closely monitoring” the situation, while Democratic state Rep. Bob Freeman, whose district includes The Covenant School, called Monday’s shooting an “unimaginable tragedy.”

“I live around the corner from Covenant and pass by it often. I have friends who attend both church and school there,” Freeman said in a statement. “I have also visited the church in the past. It tears my heart apart to see this.”

Nashville has seen its share of mass violence in recent years.

On Christmas Day 2020, a recreational vehicle was intentionally detonated in the heart of Music City’s historic downtown, killing the bomber, injuring three others and forcing more than 60 businesses to close.

A man shot and killed four people at a Nashville Waffle House in April 2018. He was sentenced in February 2022 to life imprisonment without the possibility of parole.

In September 2017, a masked gunman opened fire at the Burnette Chapel Church of Christ, walking silently down the aisle as he shot unsuspecting congregants. One person was killed and seven others were wounded. The gunman was sentenced in 2019 to life in prison without the possibility of parole.

KSL 5 TV Live

National News

In this Jan. 4, 2013 photo, evidence of sliding snow is seen in steep terrain near a ski area at Sn...

Associated Press

2 snowmobilers killed in separate avalanches in Washington and Idaho

Two snowmobilers have been killed in separate avalanches in Washington state and in Idaho.

9 hours ago

Jeff Bezos attends "The Lord Of The Rings: The Rings Of Power" World Premiere in Leicester Square o...

Ramishah Maruf, CNN

Jeff Bezos dethrones Elon Musk to become the richest person on earth again

Jeff Bezos has reclaimed the title of the richest person on earth, surpassing Elon Musk, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index on Monday.

10 hours ago

Former President Donald Trump speaks during a Get Out the Vote Rally March 2 in Richmond, Virginia....

Gregory Krieg, CNN

Trump will win North Dakota GOP caucuses, CNN projects

 Former President Donald Trump will win North Dakota’s Republican presidential caucuses, CNN projects, claiming one final boost before the campaign expands to 15 states on Super Tuesday.

10 hours ago

FILE - Left to right, clockwise: Twitter former executives Vijaya Gadde, Parag Agrawal, Ned Segal, ...

Brian Fung and Clare Duffy, CNN

Former Twitter execs sue Elon Musk over severance payments

A group of former Twitter executives sued Elon Musk on Monday in a bid to recover more than $128 million in severance that they allege Musk has not paid since he acquired the company, now called X, more than a year ago.

13 hours ago

Idaho State Police released aerial photos of a string of crash sties on Interstate 84 on March 4, 2...

Mary Culbertson

63 cars, semitrucks crash on I-84 following winter storm

Idaho State Police responded to a string of crashes on I-84 Monday morning, closing miles of the interstate for hours.

14 hours ago

Tova Callender, left, and Christiane Keyhani of Hui O Ka Wai Ola, collect water samples at the Mala...

AUDREY McAVOY Associated Press

In Hawaii, coral is the foundation of life. What happened to it after the Lahaina wildfire?

For now, state officials are urging the public to limit their exposure to the ocean and seafood until scientists understand what might be making its way through the food chain.

16 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

Modern chandelier hanging from a white slanted ceiling with windows in the backgruond...

Lighting Design

Light Up Your Home With These Top Lighting Trends for 2024

Check out the latest lighting design trends for 2024 and tips on how you can incorporate them into your home.

Technician woman fixing hardware of desktop computer. Close up....

PC Laptops

Tips for Hassle-Free Computer Repairs

Experiencing a glitch in your computer can be frustrating, but with these tips you can have your computer repaired without the stress.

Close up of finger on keyboard button with number 11 logo...

PC Laptops

7 Reasons Why You Should Upgrade Your Laptop to Windows 11

Explore the benefits of upgrading to Windows 11 for a smoother, more secure, and feature-packed computing experience.

Stylish room interior with beautiful Christmas tree and decorative fireplace...

Lighting Design

Create a Festive Home with Our Easy-to-Follow Holiday Prep Guide

Get ready for festive celebrations! Discover expert tips to prepare your home for the holidays, creating a warm and welcoming atmosphere for unforgettable moments.

Battery low message on mobile device screen. Internet and technology concept...

PC Laptops

9 Tips to Get More Power Out of Your Laptop Battery

Get more power out of your laptop battery and help it last longer by implementing some of these tips from our guide.

Users display warnings about the use of artificial intelligence (AI), access to malicious software ...

Les Olson

How to Stay Safe from Cybersecurity Threats

Read our tips for reading for how to respond to rising cybersecurity threats in 2023 and beyond to keep yourself and your company safe.

3 children, 3 adults killed at Christian school in Nashville