3 Adults, 3 Children Killed In Nashville School Shooting
Deadly attack by 28-year-old local woman, who was fatally shot by police, renews calls for stricter gun laws in US.
Three children and three adults have been killed after a woman opened fire at a primary school in the US city of the Nashville, Tennessee, local officials said, in the latest instance of deadly gun violence in the United States. The shooting happened on Monday morning at The Covenant School, a private Presbyterian school for 200 students from preschool through sixth grade. All three children had gunshot wounds and they were pronounced dead upon arrival at the Monroe Carell Jr Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt.
No further details were also immediately released on their ages or their identities, or about the identities of the adults who were killed. The Metropolitan Nashville Police Department said on Monday afternoon that the shooter, a 28-year-old woman and resident of Nashville, had been fatally shot by officers after they entered the building. Police said the attacker had “at least” two assault rifles and a handgun. A motive was not immediately clear, although police said the shooter was believed to be a former student at the school.
The attack took place at a “lobby type area” in the school, and not in a classroom, a police official said. Students could be seen being walked to safety after the incident, holding hands as they left their school surrounded by police cars. They were brought to a nearby church to be reunited with their parents. Helicopter footage from the WTVF local news station showed police officers looking around a wooded area between the campus and a nearby road.
Jozen Reodica said she heard police sirens and fire trucks blaring from outside her office building nearby. As the building was placed under lockdown, she took out her phone and recorded the chaos. “I thought I would just see this on TV,” she said. “And right now, it’s real.” Nashville Mayor John Cooper expressed sympathy for the victims, writing on social media that his city “joined the dreaded, long list of communities to experience a school shooting”.
A law enforcement officer runs near the Covenant School after a shooting in Nashville, Tennessee
Attacks at US schools have become relatively common, including a massacre last year at a primary school in Uvalde, Texas that left 19 young students and two teachers dead. In February, a gunman killed three students and wounded five others in an attack on the campus of Michigan State University in East Lansing, Michigan.
As of Monday, there had been at least 128 mass shootings in the US so far this year, according to the Gun Violence Archive, a group that defines a mass shooting as an incident involving four or more victims. Since 2020, the number of mass shootings every year in the US has hovered above 600, with 646 recorded in 2022, according to the Gun Violence Archive database.
Meanwhile, a Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) report recorded a 61 percent jump in so-called “active shooter” incidents in the country in 2021 compared to the previous year. The department defines an “active shooter” as someone engaged in killing or attempting to kill people in a public space in a seemingly random fashion. About one in five “active shooter” incidents in 2021 were also mass killings.
We need to do something
Reporting from Washington, DC, reporter said that despite the prevalence of mass shootings in the US, federal gun reform has remained a politically fraught issue. “Unless and until there is political will from both Republicans and Democrats, it’s going to be very difficult to get any sort of comprehensive, Congressional action that could prevent these sorts of shootings,” she said. Amid the political deadlock, President Joe Biden, a Democrat, has sought to address the high rate of gun violence through a raft of executive orders.
A police officer walks by an entrance to The Covenant School after the shooting in Nashville
Last year, he also signed the first major federal gun control legislation passed in the US in decades, although advocates said the bill made only incremental gains. Following Monday’s attack in Nashville, the White House again called for greater federal reforms, including an assault weapons ban, an increase to the minimum age necessary to purchase guns, and greater standards for background checks. “It’s just sick,” Biden told reporters. “It’s ripping our communities apart,” he said, “ripping at the very soul of the nation.”