A female shooter wielding two “assault-style” rifles and a handgun opened fire at a private Christian school in Nashville, Tennessee, killing three children and three adults, before she was gunned down by police, authorities said.
The shooting happened at The Covenant School, a private Christian school that teaches preschool through 6th grade, on Monday.
"We now know that there are three students who were fatally wounded as well as three adults inside the school. We are working to identify those victims. Including the shooter, a total of seven persons were killed as a result of this morning's incident at the school," Don Aaron of the Metro Nashville Police Department said.
He said the shooter "appears to be in her teens," but her identification has "not been confirmed."
Officers responding to the active shooting encountered "a female who was firing," and that two officers opened fire on the suspect, leaving her dead, Aaron told reporters.
The shooter had at least two semi-automatic rifles and a handgun, the spokesman said.
Three school children were pronounced dead upon arrival at MonroeCarell Jr. Children's Hospital at Vanderbilt, a hospital spokesperson said in a statement.
Police officers with rifles, heavy vests and helmets could be seen swarming the school perimeter Monday morning.
The White House said President Joe Biden was briefed on the shooting.
Press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre called on Congress to pass gun safety legislation, pointing to President Biden’s remarks about the need to address the epidemic of gun violence during his State of the Union speech last month.
“How many more children have to be murdered before Republicans in Congress will step up and act to pass the assault weapons ban, to close loopholes in our background check system, or to require the safe storage of guns? We need to do something,” she said.
The shooting comes as communities around the United States are reeling from a spate of school shootings, including the massacre at an elementary school in Uvalde, Texas, last year, where nineteen students and two teachers were killed.
Monday's shooting is the 128th mass shooting in the US so far in 2023, according to data from the Gun Violence Archive.
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