Three children and three adult staff members were killed in a shooting at Covenant School, a private Christian school in Nashville, Tennessee, on Monday.
Nashville Police Chief John Drake identified the shooter as 28-year-old Audrey Hale, a former student of the school. The suspect was fatally shot by officers responding to the scene of the shooting. Drake told reporters that Hale identified as transgender. He did not provide additional details and it is unclear how the police came to that determination.
The three children were transported to Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital after suffering gunshot wounds and were pronounced dead after arrival, a hospital spokesperson told Semafor.
Authorities later identified the three children, all of whom were 9 years old, as Evelyn Dieckhaus, Hallie Scruggs, and William Kinney. The three adult victims were Cynthia Peak, 61, Katherine Koonce, 60, and Mike Hill, 61, according to the Nashville police department.
Police said there were no other injuries.
The shooter was armed with two assault-type rifles and a handgun and had multiple rounds of ammunition. Authorities said the shooter had a manifesto and detailed maps of the school identifying various entryways.
Following the shooting, President Joe Biden called on Congress to pass his proposed assault rifle ban, saying that gun violence was “ripping at the very soul of the nation.”
“We have to do more to protect our schools so they aren’t turned into prisons,” Biden said.
According to Statista, there have been three mass shootings since 1983 that were carried out entirely by female shooters. The vast majority of mass shooters are white men, data shows.
The Nashville incident is the 129th mass shooting in the U.S. this year alone, according to the Gun Violence Archive.