Six people, including three children, are confirmed dead following a shooting Monday morning at a private Christian elementary school in Nashville, Tennessee.
According to the initial findings of an investigation, the woman was 28 and lived in the Nashville area and was "at one point a student" at the school, although it was unclear when, John Drake, the Nashville police chief, said at a news conference.
It has now been revealed by Nashville police that the shooter was Audrey Hale, a biological woman who claims to be a transgender man. Her LinkedIn profile listed her pronouns as "he/him."
As reported by Fox News, "Hale allegedly shot through a locked door around 10:13 a.m. to gain entry to the school while armed with two assault-style rifles and a handgun, then climbed the stairs to the second floor and opened fire.
"Two Nashville police officers entered the school and went to the sounds of gunfire, where they fatally shot Hale around 10:27 a.m., according to police."
The Tennessean described the incident as "one of the deadliest school shootings in Tennessee history." Multitudes of parents and onlookers gathered together in a parking lot awaiting updates, the Tennessean said.
It is believed to be the fifth school shooting in the Nashville area since 2011 and the first since 2018.
Investigators found a manifesto left behind by Hale in her residence, along with drawings and maps of the school showing possible entrance points.
Last year, a massacre at elementary school in Uvalde, Texas, is still fresh in the minds of the nation, as well as an incident involving a first-grader shooting his teacher in Virginia in 2022 and a shooting last week in Denver that wounded two school administrators.
Nashville Mayor John Cooper tweeted, "In a tragic morning, Nashville joined the dreaded, long list of communities to experience a school shooting. My heart goes out to the families of the victims. Our entire city stands with you."
Numerous prayers were posted for the victims' families on WTVF-TV's Facebook site.
"So saddening. Such a wasteful loss of human life. My heart goes out to all involved," one user wrote.
"Sad times," another user commented.
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 students with 33 faculty members.
The Tennessean said that "officials and children will be counted outside as they arrive and will be taken into a sanctuary individually to reunite with parents.
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Shawn A. Akers is the online editor at Charisma Media.
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