5:00 p.m. ET: Metro Nashville Police Department released victims' names. Child victims fatally shot today include Evelyn Dieckhaus, Hallie Scruggs, and William Kinney, all age 9. Adult victims fatally shot today include Cynthia Peak, age 61; Katherine Koonce, age 60; and Mike Hill, age 61.
3:00 p.m. ET: Metro Nashville Police Department Chief John Drake identified the shooting suspect as a white woman believed to be from the Nashville area. Chief Drake said initial findings indicate "at one point, [the shooter] was a student at the school, but unsure what year."
"I know there will be people who want to criticize us for prayers, but that's the way we do that in the South. We believe in prayer and we believe in the power of prayer," David B. Rausch, director of the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation, said during a press conference.
Original story below
A 28-year-old woman allegedly shot and killed three children and three adult staff members at a Nashville Christian school before being engaged by police, multipleoutletsreported Monday. The shooter is dead.
"In a tragic morning, Nashville joined the dreaded, long list of communities to experience a school shooting," Nashville's Mayor John Cooper said in a statement on Twitter.
"My heart goes out to the families of the victims. Our entire city stands with you. As facts continue to emerge, I thank our first responders and medical professionals," Cooper also said.
The atrocious shooting occurred at approximately 10:13 a.m. at the Covenant School, a private Christian school in Nashville for children from preschool through sixth grade. The school is on the campus of Covenant Presbyterian Church.
The 28-year-old woman was reportedly armed with two "assault-type" rifles and a handgun, according to Don Aaron of the Metro Nashville Police. A five-member police team encountered the shooter, fatally shooting her at around 10:27 a.m.
Initial reports, which were incorrect, characterized the shooter as a teenage girl.
The shooter reportedly entered the school through a side door. She made her way to the second floor, where she then opened fire.
The Nashville Fire Department also responded to reports of an "active aggressor" at the school, quickly confirming multiple victims were involved and adding information on a reunification site for parents.
White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre offered remarks during a regularly scheduled press briefing Monday afternoon. She reported that the president had been briefed on the situation and the team was in contact with the Department of Justice and local officials.
"We want to express the president's appreciation for the first responders and prayers for all the families affected," the press secretary said.
"We know that too often our schools and communities are being devastated by gun violence. Schools should be safe spaces for our kids to grow and learn and for our educators to teach."
"President Biden has taken more action than any president in history on gun safety," she added, mentioning the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act signed into law after the atrocities in Uvalde and Buffalo.
"There are no words to describe their deep loss," retired FBI special agent Nicole Parker told Fox News Channel's John Roberts on "America Reports."
"These families have open wounds that will never be healed. ... I firmly believe faith is what will pull these individuals through."
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