On Monday, a female shooter carrying two what were described as “assault-style” rifles and a pistol killed three children and three adults at a private Christian school in Nashville, Tennesse, the latest in a string of school shootings that has shaken the United States of America (USA).
Police suspect the 28-year-old female shooter attended The Covenant School; a Presbyterian school founded in 2001.
She died as well after being shot by cops.
The school’s violence comes as communities across the country are reeling from a spate of school violence, including a 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 injured two administrators.
“I was literally moved to tears seeing this and the kids being escorted out of the building,” Metropolitan Nashville Police Chief John Drake said during an afternoon press conference.
Authorities stated the suspect was from the Nashville area, but her identity and motivation for the incident have not been revealed.
President Joe Biden, speaking at a separate White House event on Monday, called the massacre a “family’s worst nightmare” and urged Congress to enact a ban on certain semi-automatic weapons once more.
“It’s ripping at the soul of this country, the very soul of this country,” Biden added.
Experts on mass shootings were taken aback by the suspect’s gender.
According to a Criminal Justice Professor at the University of Alabama who has studied the psychology and behavior of mass shooters, Adam Lankford, female shooters account for only around five per cent to eight per cent of all mass shooters.
The catastrophe on Monday reportedly lasted about 14 minutes.
At 10:13 AM, Police got the first report of an active shooter.
Officers began emptying the first storey of the school after hearing gunshots from the second level, according to Police spokesperson Don Aaron during a news conference.
Two cops from a five-person squad responded by opening fire, killing the man at 10:27 AM, according to Aaron.
He stated that because the school is administered by a church, there were no Police officers present or assigned to it at the time of the incident.
The victims of the Covenant School were pronounced dead at Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital and Vanderbilt University Medical Centre.
One officer got a cut glass wound on his hand.
Other pupils walked to safety Monday, leaving their school surrounded by Police cars, to a nearby church to be reunited with their parents.
Rachel Dibble, who was present at the church when family gathered in a nearby church, described the scene as “complete shock”.
Dibble, whose children attend a separate private school in Nashville, said: “People were trembling involuntarily. The children… began their morning in their cute little uniforms, probably with some Froot Loops, and now their entire lives have changed today.”
A social psychologist from the United Kingdom (UK) working on an unrelated mental health project in Nashville, Dr. Shamendar Talwar, rushed to the church to give assistance as soon as he heard about the incident.
He claimed to be one of several chaplains, psychiatrists, life coaches, and clergy on the inside who were assisting the families.
“All you can show is the human spirit, that we are all here together… and hold their hand more than anything else,” he remarked.
Jozen Reodica heard police sirens and fire vehicles blaring outside her adjacent office building.
As her building was put on lockdown, she got out her phone and began filming the mayhem.
She explained: “I thought I’d just see it on TV. And it’s real right now.”
According to the school’s website, the Covenant School was created in 2001 as a mission of Covenant Presbyterian Church.
The institution sits in the affluent Green Hills neighborhood just south of downtown Nashville, among the city’s leading universities and the legendary Bluebird Café, a favorite hangout for singers and songwriters.
The grade school employs approximately 50 people.
The motto of the school is “Shepherding Hearts, Empowering Minds, Celebrating Childhood.”
Top legislative leaders indicated Monday that the Republican-dominated Statehouse would convene briefly later in the evening and postpone any legislation.
“In a tragic morning, Nashville joined the dreaded, long list of communities to experience a school shooting,” Nashville Mayor John Cooper tweeted.
In recent years, Nashville has experienced its fair share of mass bloodshed.
A camper vehicle was purposely exploded in the middle of Music City’s historic downtown on Christmas Day 2020, killing the bomber, injuring three people, and causing more than 60 businesses to close.
In April 2018, a man shot and killed four people at a Nashville Waffle House.
In February 2022, he was condemned to life in jail without the chance of parole.
In September 2017, a masked gunman opened fire on members of the Burnette Chapel Church of Christ while strolling calmly down the aisle. One person was killed, while seven more were injured.
In 2019, the gunman was sentenced to life in prison with no chance of release.
Located on the Cumberland River in Davidson County, Nashville is the capital and largest city in the US State of Tennessee.
Nashville is the home of the Grand Ole Opry, the Country Music Hall of Fame, and many major record labels.
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