Authorities are sharing a little more information about the suspect in this morning’s attack on Covenant School in Nashville, Tennessee. While police have not yet released her identity, officials say that the woman was 28-years-old and a former student at Covenant School. It’s still unknown if the suspect had a continuing relationship with the school or its affiliated church, and authorities have not said how the woman acquired the firearms used in her cowardly assault on the elementary school.
Bearing Arms will continue to provide new information as it’s made available, though will not be reporting on the suspect’s name when it is released. We have a policy here of not giving mass murderers the attention so many of them are desperately seeking, but we’ll report any relevant information on the victims as well as how the suspect carried out her attack and what, if any, red flags may have been raised beforehand.
***Original story below***
Police in Nashville say five people, including three children, are dead after a shooting at a private school on Monday morning. Authorities report that the suspect was “engaged” by responding officers and was apparently shot and killed at the scene, but not before she was able to turn her gun on students and staff.
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 Covenant School serves about 200 students in kindergarten through sixth grade. So far authorities haven’t said how the suspect gained access to the school or if they’ve determined why it was the target, but in the first news conference police did announce that there were six fatalities at the school. According to the local police, five officers responded to reports of the shooting at 10:13 a.m. and found the female suspect on the second floor of the school building when they arrived; engaging her and neutralizing the threat at 10:27 a.m.
Authorities say the suspect “appears to be in her teens”, and was armed with two rifles and a handgun. Police say the suspect gained entrance to the school through a side door, though they haven’t said whether the door was locked or what kind of security measures the school has in place.
The fire department issued the following statement: “We can confirm we have multiple patients. Parents coming to the school should go to 20 Burton Hills at this time. This is an active scene.”
The Covenant School was founded in 2001 as a ministry of Covenant Presbyterian Church and has students in pre-kindergarten through sixth grade. Enrollment fluctuates between 195 and 210 with 33 teaching faculty members.
The Covenant School typically feeds area private schools that include Battle Ground Academy, Brentwood Academy, Christ Presbyterian Academy, Ensworth, Davidson Academy and others.
Parents lined up in the sanctuary of Woodmont Baptist Church to give first and last names of their children to police.
Vice Mayor Jim Shulman was in the sanctuary passing out bottled water to parents and family members awaiting reunification.
Officials said children will be counted outside as they arrive and will be taken into the sanctuary individually to reunite with parents.
“I know this is probably the worst day of everyone’s lives,” said a Metro police officer to the crowd gathered. “I can’t tell you how sympathetic we are.”
One anchor at WTFV shared what her mother-in-law, who works at the school, heard as she was walking back to the building from a break around 10:30 this morning.
Gut-wrenching coverage of the Covenant School shooting from NewsChannel 5 Nashville, as reporter Hannah McDonald shares that her mother-in-law works at the school’s front desk and was coming back from a break when she heard gunshots coming from inside the building. pic.twitter.com/ReXd6s4qbI
— Sam Sagnella ⚡️ (@SamSagnella) March 27, 2023
“She was outside of the school and heard gunshots. She had just gotten back from her break. She starts her day early. This is an elementary school. People are there at 7 a.m. to greet these children. So she had stepped away already when this happened, and she got back and heard gunshots.”
There’s still a lot we don’t know about this horrific event, including why the suspect chose this school and these kids as the target of her cowardly attack. We’ll have more updates to this tragedy as police release more information, but for now keep the victims, their families, and the Covenant School community in your prayers.