Home News Police identify shooter who killed 6 at Nashville grade school

Police identify shooter who killed 6 at Nashville grade school

Source: Twitter

Cailley LaPara and Anna Kaiser
Bloomberg News

Police have identified the assailant who shot and killed three children and three adults at a Christian elementary school in Nashville, Tennessee, on Monday.

Audrey Hale, who was killed by police, was a 28-year-old white Nashville resident who identified as transgender, authorities said. Hale is believed to be a former student at the Covenant School, Metro Nashville Police said. The shooter had two assault-type rifles and at least one pistol, police spokesperson Don Aaron said at a briefing. Hale entered the school through a side entrance and traversed the first and second floors of the building.

Police Chief John Drake said a vehicle found near the school gave investigators hints about the identity of the alleged shooter and that law enforcement officials have gone to Hale’s home.

Police identified the deceased as Evelyn Dieckhaus, Hallie Scruggs and William Kinney, all age 9; Cynthia Peak, 61; Katherine Koonce, 60; and Mike Hill, 61.

Police said they received the first call about the shooting at 10:13 a.m. local time, and the shooter was killed by 10:27 a.m. One police officer was injured.

While police initially identified Hale as a woman, a LinkedIn profile that appears to be the alleged shooter’s uses male pronouns. Late Monday, police changed their identification to say the shooter was transgender.

A female shooter in a mass casualty event would be a rare occurrence, said Jason Silva, an assistant professor in William Paterson University’s criminal justice department. Just 2% of mass shootings have been perpetrated by women since 1982, according to data from Statista.

A rising number of school shootings in the United States have increased calls for an assault weapons ban. Nineteen students and two teachers were killed in a Uvalde, Texas, elementary school in May, the deadliest tragedy since the Sandy Hook massacre in Connecticut, which claimed the lives of 20 first graders and six educators in 2012.

Last month, a gunman killed three people and injured five others at Michigan State University’s campus in East Lansing.

President Joe Biden again called on Congress to ban assault weapons and take more steps to address gun violence following the attack.

“We have to do more to stop gun violence,” the president said Monday. “It’s ripping our communities apart, ripping at the very soul of the nation. And we have to do more to protect our schools so they aren’t turned into prisons.”

In Nashville, police officers with rifles, heavy vests and helmets could be seen walking through the school parking lot and around the grassy perimeter of the building Monday morning, The Associated Press reported.

The Covenant School is a private Christian school in Nashville for preschool through sixth grade. It has about 200 students and a staff of about 50.

Michael R. Bloomberg, founder of Bloomberg News parent Bloomberg LP, helped launch Everytown for Gun Safety, which advocates for universal background checks and other gun control measures.


(Bloomberg staff writer Jordan Fabian contributed to this story.)

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