At least three children are dead after a 28-year-old woman opened fire at a private Christian elementary school in Nashville on Monday morning, according to Nashville police, who initially thought the shooter was a teen girl.
The incident, as CrimeOnline previously reported, started at around 10:30 a.m. when an active shooter attacked victims at The Covenant School, at 33 Burton Hills Blvd. Nashville police said the shooter engaged with officers and is now dead.
The shooter has been identified as Audrey Hale, of Nashville. She was found with “assault-type rifles and a handgun,” officials said and was shot and killed on the school’s second floor. She reportedly entered the school through a side door, according to Nashville police spokesperson Don Aaron.
“They heard shots coming from the second level. They immediately went to the gunfire. When the officers got to the second level, they saw a shooter, a female, who was firing. The officers engaged her. She was fatally shot by responding police officers,” Aaron said.
“The police department response was swift.”
The shooter reportedly attended the school when she was younger, according to Metropolitan Nashville Police Chief John Drake.
“At one point she was a student at that school, but unsure what year,” he said.
Vanderbilt University Medical Center spokesperson Jessica Pasle said the three children were rushed to the Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt, where they were pronounced dead.
Three adults have also been confirmed dead, police said. The victims were described as being staff members and students at the school.
The school serves preschool students through sixth grade, according to NBC News.
An active shooter event has taken place at Covenant School, Covenant Presbyterian Church, on Burton Hills Dr. The shooter was engaged by MNPD and is dead. Student reunification with parents is at Woodmont Baptist Church, 2100 Woodmont Blvd. pic.twitter.com/vO8p9cj3vx
— Metro Nashville PD (@MNPDNashville) March 27, 2023
The Tennessean reports that “student reunification with parents is at Woodmont Baptist Church at 2100 Woodmont Blvd.”
Parents were seen Monday lining up at the church while giving the names of their children to police at the scene. Vice Mayor Jim Shulman was also spotted at the church, passing out bottled water to parents.
This is a developing story and will be updated as additional information becomes available. Check back for updates.
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[Feature Photo: This photo provided by the Metro Nashville Police Department shows officers at an active shooter event that took place at Covenant School, Covenant Presbyterian Church, in Nashville, Tenn. Monday, March 27, 2023. Authorities say the suspect in a shooting at a private Christian school in Nashville is dead. (Metro Nashville Police Department via AP)]