3 kids, 3 adults killed in Nashville elementary school shooting, attacker also dead
Published in News & Features
Three children and three adults were killed in a shooting at a Nashville elementary school Monday morning.
The attacker, identified only as a woman likely in her teens, was killed on the scene at The Covenant School by responding police officers.
“There are no other gunshot victims,” Nashville police officer Don Aaron said at an afternoon press conference.
A responding police officer cut his hand on glass at the scene, Aaron said.
Nashville police responded to the school in south Nashville after an active shooter call came in at 10:13 a.m., according to Aaron. When officers arrived, the shooter was spraying bullets on the second floor.
The five officers who arrived first on the scene stormed upstairs and engaged the woman, Aaron said. Two officers opened fire and killed her.
The shooter was armed with two assault-style rifles and a handgun, according to Aaron. She was dead by 10:27 a.m., 14 minutes after the initial call came in.
The Covenant School is a private Christian school for children in preschool through sixth grade. On a typical day, the school has 209 students and 42 staff members inside. All surviving students were escorted from the grounds by faculty and staff.
“There will be more from this spot later in the (day) with (Nashville Police Chief) John Drake,” Aaron said.
Female mass shooters are extremely rare in the U.S. Across 172 mass public shootings from 1966 to 2021, only four attackers were women, according to The Violence Project.
“While the difference in numbers between female and male mass shooters is stark, it was represented in all U.S. homicides in which 80% to 90% of offenders in a given year were men,” the group writes.
The Violence Project defines a mass public shooting as one that leaves at least four victims dead and takes place in a generally public space, such as a school. Before Monday’s bloodshed, two shootings in 2023 already met that definition: the Lunar New Year shooting at a dance hall in Southern California and the Half Moon Bay workplace shooting in Northern California.
Perhaps the most notorious school shooting by a female gunman did not qualify for The Violence Project’s database. On Jan. 29, 1979, 16-year-old Brenda Spencer fatally shot the principal and a custodian at Cleveland Elementary School in San Diego. She also wounded eight children in the attack, and explained her motive as, “I don’t like Mondays.” Her response inspired a Boomtown Rats song of the same name.
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