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Tragic Loss of Life in Nashville Shooting at Private School

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Three students and three staff members were killed after a 28-year-old woman opened fire at a private elementary school in Nashville on Monday.

The shooter, armed with at least two assault rifles and a handgun, entered the Christian Convention School through a side door before opening fire, Nashville police spokesman Don Aaron told a news conference.

Officers were on the scene within about 15 minutes of receiving the first emergency call at around 10:00 a.m. (1500 GMT), and engaged the shooter, who returned fire before killing him.

Aaron said the woman, identified by police as a 28-year-old from Nashville, fired several shots as she strode through the school. There were no initial indications of a motive for the shooting.

“We now know that there were three students who were fatally wounded, as well as three adults inside the school,” Aaron said, explaining that the adults were among the 40-50 staff at the school.

“We are working to identify these victims, including the shooter,” he added.

He said there were no other injuries.

“All of the remaining students could have moved out of the building along with the faculty and staff,” said Kendra Looney of the Nashville Fire Department.

“We were on the scene to help them take the edge off everyone else’s view of exactly what was going on,” she said.

“But we’re sure they’ve heard the chaos surrounding this, so we have mental health professionals and professionals who are on site for this reunion for both students and families.”

Covenant School is a private Presbyterian institution with just over 200 students in preschool through approximately age 12.

School shootings are alarmingly common in the United States, where gun prevalence has risen in recent years, although female shooters are rare.

The White House called the recent school shooting “heartbreaking” and urged Republicans to support President Joe Biden’s push for a ban on assault weapons commonly used in mass shootings in the United States.

Press secretary Karen Jean-Pierre said Biden was briefed on “heartbreaking news of yet another shooting of innocents” and asked what Republicans were waiting for “to step up and work to pass the assault weapons ban.”

Similarly, several elected officials in Tennessee have taken to social media to express their shock.

“Sad and heartbroken about the tragic news at Covenant School,” Senator Bill Hagerty wrote on Twitter.

“I am grateful to law enforcement and first responders for their heroic actions.”

Senator Marsha Blackburn thanked the first responders and offered “prayers for those affected.”

Legislation addressing gun violence has hit a dead end in Washington despite public uproar over high-profile massacres like the one at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut in 2012, when 26 people were killed, including 20 children.

Last year, a shooter in Uvalde, Texas, killed 19 students and two teachers.

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