NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WZTV) — A 28-year-old woman shot and killed three children and three adults at a Christian elementary school in Nashville, Tennessee on Monday morning, according to authorities.
The Metro Nashville Police Department identified the shooter as Audrey Elizabeth Hale, a Nashville resident. The chief said Hale identifies as transgender.
Police also identified the shooter as Audrey Elizabeth Hale, a Nashville resident who once attended the school. The chief said Hale identifies as transgender.
Police also identified the victims at The Covenant School, a private Christian school in the Green Hills area. They include:
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," Monroe Carell Jr. Media Relations Manager Jessica Pasley told WZTV.
Officials also said the adults were all staff members.
Authorities confirmed the shooter was killed by officers.
Police said the shooter appeared to be armed with two assault rifles and a handgun. She entered the school through a side entrance and made her way to the second floor of the school, opening fire as she made her way up the stairs.
Two MNPD officers who entered the building and went to the sounds of gunfire engaged the shooter on the second floor and fatally shot her," police said.
Chief John Drake said the mass shooter was once a student at Covenant School, but he would not release any further information on the suspect's identify.
Metro Police Department Spokesman Don Aaron said one officer was injured from cut glass, but no other officers were hurt.
A parent who did not want to be identified told WZTV she heard what she later realized were at least five gunshots around 10:15 a.m.
She said she then heard ambulances and police responding to the school.
It's not what I expected on a Monday morning here in Green Hills," she said.
Police said the shooting occurred at The Covenant School, a private Christian school in the Green Hills area.
Footage showed ambulances and buses leaving the scene.
The department advised parents coming to the school to go to the "reunification area" at Woodmont Baptist Church, where parents will meet children who attend the school.
The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms is also sending agents to the scene.
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 agency noted on Twitter.
Hillsboro High School, Julia Green Elementary and Percy Priest Elementary are on lockout as precaution until police clear the area.
Police spokesperson Don Aaron is expected to hold a press conference soon with details.
President Joe Biden joined the Small Business Association's Women's Business Summit a few hours after the shooting. He called on Congress to pass stricter gun legislation and to do more to help students and staff, as well as parents, in terms of mental health following a tragic event such as a mass shooting.
It’s heartbreaking," the president said. "It’s a family’s worst nightmare."
His press secretary, Karine Jean-Pierre, spoke during a news conference and told reporters students deserve to feel safe at school.
Prayer vigils have been scheduled in Nashville churches and schools.
WZTV is at the scene and gathering more information.
EDITOR'S NOTE: The National Desk's Jessica A. Botelho contributed to this report.