Nashville school shooting suspect was a 28-year-old woman and former student
Three children and three adults were killed following a mass shooting Monday morning at Covenant School in the Green Hills neighborhood of Nashville, officials said.
The suspected shooter, who was shot dead by police, was identified as Audrey Hale, 28, of Nashville, authorities said. Officials said she was armed with “at least” two assault rifles and a handgun.
Police said their preliminary investigation indicated the suspect was at one point a student at the school, Nashville Police Chief John Drake said. He didn’t know exactly when she might have attended.
Covenant, founded in 2001, is a private Christian school with 33 teachers and up to 210 students in kindergarten through 6th grade, according to the school’s website.
Nashville Police Chief John Drake told a news conference the shooting was a targeted attack. Drake said police discovered “a manifesto” as well as planning material.
“We also determined that there were drawn maps of the school in detail of surveillance, entry points, etc.,” Drake said. “We know and believe that entry was gained by shooting through one of the doors, which is how they entered the school.”
The police response
The shooter entered the Covenant School through a side door and walked through the building, going from the first to the second floor and “firing multiple shots,” Nashville Metropolitan Police Department spokesman Don Aaron said. .
Responding officers saw the shooter fire on the second level, and at that point they “engaged” her, Aaron said. The shooter was fatally shot by two of the five police officers who responded to the scene, he said.
Female mass shooters are rare
Although not much is known about the shooter, the fact that she was identified as a woman is rare. Since 1982, only three mass shootings in the United States have been perpetrated by women, according to data from the Statista Research Department. During the same period, men were behind 135 mass shootings, Statista reported.
In 1979, 16-year-old Brenda Spencer opened fire on Cleveland Elementary School in San Diego, killing two adults and injuring eight children. Spencer used a .22 caliber rifle his father gave him for Christmas, CBS8.com reported.
At the time, the teenager told a reporter that she did the filming because “I don’t like Mondays,” CBS8.com reported.