PROSPECT HEIGHTS — Seven people, including three children, are confirmed dead after a suspect began shooting at a private Christian school in Nashville on Monday, March 27, police said.
The shooting occurred at The Covenant School, a Presbyterian school located in the Green Hills neighborhood that holds approximately 200 students from preschool through sixth grade.
The shooter was identified as Audrey Hale, 28 — who identified as a transgender woman — a former male student at the school from the Nashville area, according to police chief John Drake.
Hale, who was armed with two “assault-style rifles” and a handgun, according to the Metro Nashville Police Department, was also killed after a standoff with police officers at the school.
Nashville Mayor John Cooper said on Twitter it had been a “tragic morning” for the city while sending his condolences to families.
In a tragic morning, Nashville joined the dreaded, long list of communities to experience a school shooting.
My heart goes out to the families of the victims. Our entire city stands with you.
As facts continue to emerge, I thank our first responders and medical professionals.
— Mayor John Cooper (@JohnCooper4Nash) March 27, 2023
“My heart goes out to the families of the victims,” Cooper said in his online statement,
“Our entire city stands with you.”
The victims include three children, three adults, and the suspect.
The victims were transferred to Vanderbilt University Medical Center, where they were pronounced dead.
Police are still trying to gather information about a possible motive and what took place moments before the shooting.
“There is video from the school we are viewing now to try to learn how all of this happened,” Don Aaron, Metro Nashville Police Department spokesperson said during a press conference on Monday afternoon.
Students were escorted to safety by police, while holding each other’s hands, as they fled the school to a nearby church near the campus to be reunited with their parents.
Democratic State Representative Bob Freeman, who represents the district the school is located in, called the shooting an “unimaginable tragedy.”
This is an unimaginable tragedy for the victims, all the children, families, teachers, staff and my entire community. I live around the corner from Covenant and pass by it often. I have friends who attend both church and school there. I have also visited the church in the past
— Bob Freeman (@bobfreemantn) March 27, 2023
“I live around the corner from Covenant and pass by it often,” Rep. Freeman said in a statement. “I have friends who attend both church and school there. I have also visited the church in the past. It tears my heart apart to see this.”