Tragedy struck in Nashville on Monday morning when a 28-year-old woman opened fire inside a private elementary school at a local church. Six people were killed, including three children, in the incident which took place at The Covenant School located at 33 Burton Hills Blvd.
NBC News has now learned the identity of the shooter. The report identified her as Audrey Hale, 28, of Nashville according to Metropolitan Nashville Police Chief John Drake, who also noted that she identified as a transgender male.
“At one point she was a student at that school,” Metropolitan Nashville Police Chief John Drake told reporters. “But unsure what year … but that’s what I’ve been told so far.”
On Twitter, screenshots of Hale’s social media show her using he/him pronouns.
🚨 #BREAKING: NBC News is reporting the Nashville school shooter has been identified as Audrey Hale, a biological female that identifies as he/him.
Audrey previously attended the school. pic.twitter.com/1Np2obg2zs
— Nick Sortor (@nicksortor) March 27, 2023
According to Metro Nashville police spokesperson Don Aaron, responding officers quickly engaged the shooter on the second floor of the building. Police officers fatally shot Hale, who was firing at them.
“The police department response was swift,” said Aaron at a news conference. “They heard shots coming from the second level. They immediately went to the gunfire. When the officers got to the second level, they saw a shooter, a female, who was firing. The officers engaged her. She was fatally shot by responding police officers.”
The Nashville Police Chief also mentioned during the press conference that Hale is believed to have attended the school years ago. The motive behind the attack remains unknown.
The six victims have been identified as Evelyn Dieckhaus, 9, Hallie Scruggs, 9, William Kinney, 9, Cynthia Peak, 61, Katherine Koonce, 60, and Mike Hill, 61. The community mourns their loss and searches for answers as to how this tragedy could have happened.
The White House quickly used the shooting to garner support for more gun control restrictions on lawful gun owners despite not having any cogent details about the massacre.
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