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Tragic Shooting at Nashville Christian School Leaves Six Dead, Reignites Call for Federal Assault Weapons Ban

On Monday morning, a tragic shooting occurred at The Covenant School, a private Christian school in Nashville, killing three 9-year-old children and three adult staff members.[0] The shooter, identified as 28-year-old Audrey Elizabeth Hale, was a former student at the school and was shot and killed by police just 14 minutes after the school first called police to report an active shooter.[1] Hale had no prior criminal history, and two of the three guns used in the shooting were obtained locally.[2]

The victims have been identified as Evelyn Dieckhaus, Hallie Scruggs, William Kinney, Cynthia Peak, Mike Hill, and Katherine Koonce, who was the head of the school.[3] The school, founded in 2001, serves children in grades preschool through sixth grade and has 33 teaching faculty members.

President Joe Biden has renewed his push for a federal assault weapons ban in the aftermath of the shooting, calling on Congress to pass his assault weapons ban.[4] He has focused on reinstating the assault weapons ban that he helped pass in 1994 as senator, which lapsed in 2004.

The shooter entered the school just after 10 a.m. through a side door, began shooting on the first floor, and then moved to the second.[5] At 10:13 a.m., the police received their initial call.[6] Hale was confronted by five police officers on the second floor, and two of them shot and killed the shooter at precisely 10:27 a.m.[7] Hale had drawn detailed maps of the school, including surveillance and entry points, and police believe entry was gained by shooting through one of the doors.[3]

The community is heartbroken and grieving tremendous loss, with many expressing their gratitude to first responders who acted quickly to protect the students, faculty, and staff.[5] Law enforcement is conducting its investigation, and while there is a lot of interest and discussion surrounding what happened, the priority is the well-being of the community.[5]

Flags have been ordered to be flown at half-staff at the White House, public buildings, military posts, and naval stations, as well as at a variety of U.S. facilities abroad, until sunset on Friday, in honor of the victims of the shooting.[5]

0. “Nashville Reporter Joylyn Bukovac: I Survived A School Shooting” TODAY, 27 Mar. 2023, https://www.today.com/parents/moms/nashville-reporter-joylyn-bukovac-survived-school-shooting-rcna76892

1. “3 kids, 3 adults killed in shooting at Nashville private elementary school – Tennessee Lookout” Tennessee Lookout, 27 Mar. 2023, https://tennesseelookout.com/2023/03/27/three-children-and-shooter-dead-after-massing-shooting-at-covenant-school-in-green-hills

2. “Nashville school shooting: At least 3 children, 3 adults dead at Covenant School” Vox.com, 27 Mar. 2023, https://www.vox.com/politics/2023/3/27/23658533/nashville-school-shooting-covenant-school

3. “What we know about the Nashville school shooting” Axios, 27 Mar. 2023, https://www.axios.com/2023/03/27/covenant-school-nashville-shooting-what-we-know

4. “Biden renews push to ban assault weapons in wake of Nashville shooting” POLITICO, 27 Mar. 2023, https://www.politico.com/news/2023/03/27/biden-assault-weapons-ban-nashville-shooting-00089050

5. “Nashville school shooting live updates: Six killed, including three children” NBC News, 28 Mar. 2023, https://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/live-blog/nashville-school-shooting-covenant-live-updates-rcna76861

6. “Nashville mourns after mass shooting at The Covenant School” Tennessean, 27 Mar. 2023, https://www.tennessean.com/story/news/crime/2023/03/27/nashville-mourns-mass-shooting-covenant-school/70052585007/

7. “Hallie Scruggs, daughter of pastor, among victims in Nashville school shooting” New York Post , 28 Mar. 2023, https://nypost.com/2023/03/27/hallie-scruggs-daughter-of-nashville-pastor-victim-in-school-shooting

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