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Three children, three adults, shooter dead after Nashville private school mass shooting

Mass shooter Audrey Hale who killed three kids and three adults at Covenant School in Nashville, Tennessee on March 27, 2023.{ } (Photo: Metro Police)
Mass shooter Audrey Hale who killed three kids and three adults at Covenant School in Nashville, Tennessee on March 27, 2023. (Photo: Metro Police)
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Three young students and three staff members at a small, private school in Nashville were killed in a mass shooting Monday morning. Police say the 28-year-old shooter, a woman who identifies as transgender, is also dead.

Officers with the Metro Nashville Police Department responded to a shots fired call at 10:13 a.m. at The Covenant School. Police said the shooter, a former student at the school, made entry by shooting through a side door and was later shot and killed by police by 10:27 a.m. Monday. Those police officers, MNPD confirms, are Rex Englebert and Michael Collazo.

The shooter is identified as Audrey Hale, she reportedly opened fire with an assault rifle, an 9mm rifle and a handgun, Metro Police said. Police initially described the shooter as a female in her teens.

Metro Nashville Police Chief John Drake says police have found detailed maps of the school with entry points. Police also discovered a manifesto and writings from Hale.

"There's right now a theory but it is not confirmed," Chief Drake said of the findings. Chief Drake said he cannot confirm motive but did say it was a targeted attack. Another location had been mentioned by Hale in writings but Chief Drake says security factors at the location could have kept it from being targeted. MNPD stated that writings sampled as evidence from Hale shows the attack was "calculated and planned."

Hale did not have a prior criminal history. Chief Drake added at least two of the weapons were obtained legally. When a search warrant was conducted at Hale's home on Brightwood Avenue, police seized a sawed-off shotgun, a second shotgun and other evidence.

Police say Hale drove a Honda Fit and parked it at Covenant. The vehicle was searched and police found "additional material written by Hale."

Jessica Pasley, a spokesperson for Vanderbilt Children's Hospital tells FOX 17 News "Confirming that 3 pediatric patients were transported to Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt, all having suffered gunshot wounds. All three were pronounced dead after arrival." Per MNPD, the 6 victims fatally shot by the active shooter at Covenant School are identified as: Evelyn Dieckhaus, Hallie Scruggs, and William Kinney, all age 9, Cynthia Peak, age 61, Katherine Koonce, age 60, and Mike Hill, age 61. Katherine Koonce is described on the school website as being the Head of School. Police said Hill was a custodian at the school and Peak was a substitute teacher.

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MNPD confirmed that two officers entered the building and followed the sound of gunfire at 33 Burton Hills Boulevard in the Green Hills area.

Don Aaron confirmed that one officer was injured during the incident from cut glass, but no other officers were hurt. Police are expected to release body camera footage from their response to the school in the coming days.

MNPD said that Hale fired at the police car from the second floor of the Covenant Church/School building. The broken glass in the windows can be seen in the photo below.

The shots left the glass on one of the police car windows shattered, as can be seen in the photo below.

Police say Hale was armed with three guns, and had "significant ammunition." One of the guns can be seen in the photo below.

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NFD crews went into school as soon as it was safe to do so to provide life-saving efforts to those injured. Crews were able to pull out those that had viable signs of life, a spokesperson confirmed.

NFD advised parents coming to the school to go to the "reunification area" at 2100 Woodmont Boulevard, located at Woodmont Baptist Church, for parents to meet children who attend the school.

The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms (ATF) is also sending agents to the scene. The agency stated on Twitter "Special Agents from the Nashville Field Office are responding to assist the Metropolitan Nashville Police Department with an active shooter incident that has occurred at the Covenant School."

The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation (TBI) has special agents and additional personnel responding to the scene at this time. They confirm, along with MNPD, that there is no active threat to the public currently. TBI said in a press conference that they will assist in the officer-involved part of the investigation, but that Metro Police will investigate the mass shooting.

Hillsboro High School, Julia Green Elementary and Percy Priest Elementary were on lockout, but are now off of lockdown.

Metro Police are currently going through video to learn more about the incident and the mass shooter. Officers engaged the shooter by 10:27 a.m. and Don Aaron says first call was received at 10:13 a.m. Monday morning.

The Covenant School released the following statement Monday evening:

Our community is heartbroken. We are grieving tremendous loss and are in shock coming out of the terror that shattered our school and church. We are focused on loving our students, our families, our faculty and staff and beginning the process of healing. Law enforcement is conducting its investigation, and while we understand there is a lot of interest and there will be a lot of discussion about and speculation surrounding what happened, we will continue to prioritize the well-being of our community. We appreciate the outpouring of support we have received, and we are tremendously grateful to the first responders who acted quickly to protect our students, faculty and staff. We ask for privacy as our community grapples with this terrible tragedy - for our students, parents, faculty and staff.

There was traffic earlier Monday due to the shooting, but lanes are now back open.

MNPD is investigating this mass shooting along with the TBI, FBI, ATF and THP. It is an ongoing investigation.

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