A female shooter wielding two “assault-style” rifles and a pistol killed three students and three adults at a private Christian school in Nashville on Monday in what marks the latest in a series of mass shootings in the U.S.
The suspect also died after being shot by police following the violence at The Covenant School, a Presbyterian school for about 200 students from preschool through sixth grade. Police said the shooter was a 28-year-old woman from Nashville, after initially saying she appeared to be in her teens. Authorities were working to identify her and whether she had a connection to the school.
President Joe Biden called on Congress again to pass his assault weapons ban in the wake of the Nashville shooting.
READ MORE: Matthew McConaughey Remembers Those Who Were Affected By Uvalde School Shooting 6 Months On: ‘We Want Those Lost Lives To Matter’
“It’s heartbreaking, a family’s worst nightmare,” he said.
First lady Jill Biden also spoke about the slayings on Monday.
“I am truly without words. And our children deserve better,” she said during a National League of Cities conference in Washington. “We stand – all of us, we stand – with Nashville in prayer.”
The Mayor of Nashville, John Cooper, also released a statement on Twitter, writing in part: “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.”
Several celebrities, some of whom have special ties to Nashville, have also reacted to the heartbreaking news on social media.
Pray for Nashville. A shooting at a school has occurred. Three children dead. Praying for these babies & their families. Absolutely devastating 💔
— Carly Pearce (@carlypearce) March 27, 2023
No words… The Covenant School. Our children deserve better.
Praying for all affected. Tragic America.
— Sheryl Crow (@SherylCrow) March 27, 2023
I’m sick to my stomach. These were babies. To what extent will we continue to protect our precious guns? How is this still happening? https://t.co/IN44PDlTtg
— Cassadee Pope (@CassadeePope) March 27, 2023
there are no words, just rage and heartbreak for these children and their families. i can’t even fathom what is this doing to the psyches of every child and parent in this country. absolute terror every time a child goes to a place that should be safe. #Nashville https://t.co/hacCQ07cHu
— leann rimes cibrian (@leannrimes) March 27, 2023
My heart aches for the families in Nashville.
My heart is with you.
When will enough be enough.
— Sofia Carson (@SofiaCarson) March 27, 2023
Meanwhile, some celebs, who have children of their own, reacted to the “horrific” news by “praying for the families whose baby won’t be coming home from school today” and by demanding stricter regulations from politicians to ensure schools can return to being a “safe haven” for children.
I try to stay off here for my mental health but for the love of God! As a mother, I’m pissed the fuck off. Shame on every single politician ok with doing nothing as CHILDREN are getting assassinated on an everyday basis in a place that is supposed to be their safe haven.
— Mickey Guyton (@MickeyGuyton) March 27, 2023
The tragedy unfolded over roughly 14 minutes. Police received the initial call about an active shooter at 10:13 a.m., who entered the school through the side entrance and moved from the first floor to the second, according to police spokesperson Don Aaron.
Officers began clearing the first story of the school when they heard gunshots coming from the second level, Aaron said during a news briefing.
READ MORE: Madonna Supports LGBTQ+ Community With Added Nashville Tour Stop
Two officers from a five-member team opened fire in response, fatally shooting the suspect at 10:27 a.m., Aaron said. He said there were no police officers present or assigned to the school at the time of the shooting because it is a church-run school.
The Covenant School’s victims were pronounced dead at the Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital and Vanderbilt University Medical Center. The three adults killed were staff members, and all three deceased children had gunshot wounds, Aaron revealed.