At least three children and three adults were killed Monday by a shooter at the Covenant School, a private Christian school in Nashville which serves students from preschool through sixth grade.
The suspect was “engaged by police” who arrived at the scene Monday morning, and was reported dead, according to The Tennessean.
In a news briefing, the Metropolitan Nashville Police Department said the suspected shooter was female, and had not been identified as of early Monday afternoon. Spokesperson Don Aaron said she was armed with at least two assault rifles and a handgun.
Geoff Bennett of PBS Newshour reported the suspect entered the school through a side entrance.
Police responded to a call at 10:13 am regarding an “active shooter.”
The Nashville Fire Department reported on Twitter that officials had set up a family reunification center at a nearby church at 2100 Woodmont Boulevard.
As Fox News covered the police department’s press conference, a woman stepped up to a microphone on camera and asked the assembled news team, “Aren’t you guys tired of being here and having to cover all of these mass shootings?”
“How is this still happening?” said the woman, who said she was from Highland Park, Illinois and survived the mass shooting there last summer. “How are our children still dying and why are we failing them?”
“As we wait for more details, our hearts are with the families and the community in Nashville,” said March for Our Lives, the gun control advocacy group started in 2018 by survivors of the Parkland, Florida school shooting. “No child should go to school in fear of being shot. Adults are failing kids.”
Shannon Watts, founder of gun control group Moms Demand Action, took aim at Republican lawmakers in the state including Rep. Andy Ogles, who posed with his family holding assault rifles in front of their Christmas tree last year. Ogles represents the district where the Covenant School is located.
Watts also condemned Republican Gov. Bill Lee, who said he was “praying for the school, congregation, and Nashville community.”
Lee signed legislation in 2021 to allow most adults in Tennessee carry a handgun without a permit.
Earlier this month, Lee also made Tennessee the first U.S. state to criminalize public drag shows, on the same day that he signed legislation banning gender-affirming healthcare for transgender youth. Both laws, Republicans said, were aimed at protecting children.
“Just a reminder that the people talking about library books, history classes, and drag queens don’t really give a shit about the well-being of children in this country,” said Robert Maguire, research director for Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington.