A 28-year-old from Nashville fatally shot three children and three adults on Monday at a private Christian elementary school, officials said, leaving behind writings and detailed maps of the school and its security protocols.
In the latest episode of gun violence that has devastated American families and communities, the assailant opened fire just after 10 a.m. inside the Covenant School, in the affluent Green Hills neighborhood, where children in preschool through sixth grade had just begun their final full week of classes before Easter break.
The shooter, who the police identified as Audrey E. Hale, had entered the building by firing through a side door, armed with two assault-style weapons and a handgun, according to John Drake, the chief of the Metropolitan Nashville Police Department, and went to the second floor, firing shots before being killed by the police. Chief Drake said that the assailant was “at one point a student” at the school.
Surveillance video released by the police on Monday night showed the shooter drive up to the school in what the police described as a Honda Fit. In the clip, two sets of glass doors shatter from bullets before the assailant ducks into the building through the broken glass.
Wearing camouflage pants, a black vest and a backward red baseball cap, the assailant walks through rooms and hallways with a weapon drawn. At one point, the shooter can be seen walking in and out of the church office and down a hallway past the children’s ministry, as the lights of what appear to be a fire alarm flash.