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Nashville school shooting: the details of a massacre that police say was carefully planned


Police said the transgender person who opened fire at a private school, killing three children and three adults, had a map of the school and had thought out the attack in detail. A possible "resentment" for having to attend that school may have motivated the massacre.

By The Associated Press

The transgender person who fatally shot three children and three adults Monday at a Christian elementary school in Nashville, Tennessee, carried two "assault-type" weapons and a handgun and carefully planned the massacre, police said.

The massacre at The Covenant School, a private school in this city, is the latest in a series of mass shootings in a country increasingly nervous about school shootings.

The victims are three 9-year-old children, the school principal, a substitute teacher and a janitor.

Amid the chaos, much-seen things happened: terrified parents rushed to the school to see if their children were safe and tearfully hugged them, and a shocked community planned vigils for the victims.

A group of people leave the family reunification center at Woodmont Baptist Church in Nashville, Tennessee, after the shooting, Monday, March 27. AP

“I was literally moved to tears to see this and the children being escorted out of the building,” John Drake, chief of the Metropolitan Nashville Police Department, said at a news conference.

Police gave unclear information about the gender of the person linked to the attack.

She said for hours that it was a 28-year-old woman and later identified her as Audrey Hale.

Later, at an afternoon press conference, the police chief said that Hale was transgender.

After the conference, police spokesman Don Aaron declined to elaborate on how Hale identified himself.

The reasons: “possible resentment

towards the school

Drake did not disclose a specific motive for the attack when asked about it by reporters.

However, the head of the Metropolitan Nashville Police Department told NBC News that a "resentment" toward the school likely played a role.

Hale attended that Christian school, though authorities did not immediately clarify what year or years.

"We think to some extent that (Hale) had some resentment that he had to go to that school

," Drake told news anchor Lester Holt.

"I don't have all the details yet."

Drake gave chilling details about planning the shooting.

"We have a manifesto, we have some writings that we are reviewing and that refer to this day, to the incident as such

," he said.

“We have a map that he drew for how all of this would play out.”

Children from The Covenant School are taken to a bus after the attack, Monday, March 27, 2023.AP

Hale was carrying two "assault-type" weapons as well as a handgun, authorities said.

At least two of them are believed to have been obtained legally in the Nashville area, according to the police chief.

The victims were identified as Evelyn Dieckhaus, Hallie Scruggs and William Kinney, all 9 years old, and the adults Cynthia Peak, 61;

Katherine Koonce, 60;

and Mike Hill, 61.

The website for The Covenant School, a Presbyterian school founded in 2001, identifies Katherine Koonce as its principal.

Her LinkedIn profile says she has been running the institution since July 2016. Peak was a substitute teacher and Hill was a janitor, according to investigators.

People pray during a vigil at Belmont United Methodist Church in Nashville, Tenn., Monday, March 27, 2023.AP

The students held hands as they walked to school buses that took them to a nearby church to meet their parents.

“Absolute shock”

Rachel Dibble, who was at the church as families reunited with their children, described the scene as "absolute shock".

“People were shaking,” said Dibble, whose children attend another private school in Nashville.

"The kids (...) started their day in their cute uniforms, probably had their Froot Loops for breakfast, and today changed their entire lives."

President Joe Biden, at an unrelated event at the White House, called the shooting "a family's worst nightmare" and again called on Congress to ban possession of certain semi-automatic weapons.

[6-year-old boy who shot teacher at Virginia school carried his mother's gun in his backpack]

“The soul of this nation is being torn apart, the very soul of this nation is being torn apart,” Biden stressed.

14 minutes of terror

Before Monday's shooting in Nashville, there had been seven massacres at K-12 schools since 2006.

degree in which at least four people were killed in a 24-hour period, according to a database from the Associated Press and USA Today in partnership with Northeastern University.

In all those cases, the attacker was a man.

Parishioners attend a vigil for the victims of the Christian school massacre in Nashville, Tenn., held at Belmont United Methodist Church, Monday, March 27, 2023.AP

The database does not include school shootings where fewer than four people were killed, which have become much more common in recent years.

Just last week, for example, there were shootings at schools in Denver and in the greater Dallas area within two days of each other.

Monday's tragedy unfolded in

approximately 14 minutes.

Police received the initial report of a shooting at approximately 10:13 a.m.

["Some days I can't get out of bed": Virginia teacher shot by 6-year-old speaks"]

Police officers began clearing the first floor of the school when they heard gunshots coming from the second level, said Aaron, the police spokesman.

Two police officers from a team of five shot and killed Hale at around 10:27 a.m., Aaron added.

One of the agents suffered a cut on the hand from a broken glass.

There were no police officers present at or assigned to the school at the time of the shooting, as it is a church-operated school, Aaron said.

Source: telemundo

All news articles on 2023-03-28

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