Shooting at a Nashville school: at least six dead, including three children


A female shooter wielding two “assault” rifles and a handgun killed three students and three adults at a Nashville private Christian school Monday, authorities said. The 28-year-old suspect also died after being shot by police.

The violence occurred at The Covenant School, a Presbyterian school for about 200 pre-school to sixth-grade students.

The killings come as communities across the country are reeling from a wave of school violence, including the massacre at a Uvalde, Texas, elementary school last year; a first grader who shot his teacher in Virginia; and a shooting last week in Denver in which two administrators were wounded.

The Nashville victims were pronounced dead on arrival at Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital and Vanderbilt University Medical Center.

Other students scrambled to safety on Monday, holding hands as they filed out of school surrounded by police cars, heading to a nearby church to meet their parents.

Police officers with rifles, heavy vests and helmets could be seen walking through the school’s parking lot and around the grassy perimeter of the building on Monday morning. WTVF helicopter footage also showed officers searching a wooded area between the campus and a nearby road.

Jozen Reodica heard police sirens and fire trucks from outside her office building. When her building was closed, she took her phone out and recorded the chaos. “I thought I would see it on TV,” she said. “And now it’s real.”

On WTVF TV, reporter Hannah McDonald said that her mother-in-law works reception at The Covenant School. The woman had gone out for a break Monday morning and was returning when she heard gunshots, she McDonald said during a live broadcast. The reporter said that she had not been able to speak to her mother-in-law, but that her husband had.

On a tragic morning, Nashville joined the feared long list of communities to experience a school shooting,” Nashville Mayor John Cooper tweeted, thanking first responders and medical professionals. “My heart goes out to the families of the victims. Our entire city is with you.”

The Covenant School was founded as a ministry of the Covenant Presbyterian Church in 2001, according to the school’s website. The school is located in the affluent Green Hills neighborhood, south of downtown Nashville, close to the city’s major universities and the famous Bluebird Café, a beloved venue for musicians and composers.

The school has 33 teachers, according to the website. The school’s website has the motto “Shepherding hearts, empowering minds, celebrating childhood”.

Democratic state Rep. Bob Freeman, whose district includes The Covenant School, called Monday’s shooting an “unimaginable tragedy.”

“I live just around the corner from Covenant and drive past it often. I have friends who go there for both church and school,” Freeman said in a statement. “I have also visited the church in the past. It breaks my heart to see this.”