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Shooter kills 3 children, 3 adults at Nashville school. What we know

Click to play video: 'Nashville school shooting: Security, body camera footage sheds more light on timeline of deadly rampage'
Nashville school shooting: Security, body camera footage sheds more light on timeline of deadly rampage
WATCH: WARNING: Video contains violent images not suitable for all viewers. Discretion is advised. Now police have released security and body camera footage that sheds more light on how 28-year-old shooter Audrey Hale accessed the school, as well as Hale's final confrontation with police. Reggie Cecchini reports – Mar 28, 2023

Editor’s note: A previous version of this story incorrectly identified the shooter’s gender as female based on erroneous police information. This has been corrected. 

A 28-year-old shooter killed three children and three adults at a Nashville elementary school on Monday before being killed by police, according to officials.

Authorities say the shooter, identified as Audrey Elizabeth Hale, was a former student at The Covenant School, a private Presbyterian elementary school hosted by a church that holds preschool up to sixth grade.

Nashville police identified on Twitter the victims killed. They are: Evelyn Dieckhaus, Hallie Scruggs, and William Kinney, all age nine, Cynthia Peak, age 61, Katherine Koonce, age 60, and Mike Hill, age 61.

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Talking to reporters, Nashville police spokesperson Don Aaron said that police received a call of a shooter at 10:13 a.m. at the school. When they arrived, police heard shooting on the second floor and, when they entered that level, saw Hale shooting.

Two officers from a five-member team opened fire in response and the shooter was fatally shot by the responding officers, Aaron said. He said the shooter was armed with two assault-type rifles and a handgun. The shooter entered the school through the side entrance, shooting a locked door to gain entry, and went from the first floor to the second, according to the police.

“By 10:27 a.m., the shooter was deceased,” Aaron said.

A group prays with a child outside the reunification center at the Woodmont Baptist church after a school shooting, Monday, March 27, 2023, in Nashville, Tenn. (AP Photo/John Bazemore).

For hours, police identified the shooter as a 28-year-old woman and eventually as Audrey Elizabeth Hale. At a late afternoon press conference, the police chief said Hale was transgender. After the news conference, police spokesperson Don Aaron declined to elaborate on how Hale identified.

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In an email Tuesday, police spokesperson Kristin Mumford said Hale “was assigned female at birth. Hale did use male pronouns on a social media profile.”

Police said Monday that the suspect had drawn a detailed map of the school, including potential entry points, and had done surveillance beforehand. They said they are reviewing a manifesto and writings from the suspect.

There were no police officers present or assigned to the school at the time of the shooting because it is church-run, according to Aaron.

The three adults killed were staff members, and all three deceased children had gunshot wounds, he added.

The school has about 200 students, and Aaron said there were 42 staff members present at the time of the shooting.

The killings come as communities around the nation are reeling from a spate of school violence, including the massacre at an elementary school in Uvalde, Texas, last year; a first grader who shot his teacher in Virginia; and a shooting last week in Denver that wounded two administrators.

Click to play video: 'Nashville school shooting: 3 students and 3 adults killed, police say'
Nashville school shooting: 3 students and 3 adults killed, police say

President Joe Biden has called on Congress again to pass his assault weapons ban in the wake of the Nashville shooting.

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“It’s heartbreaking, a family’s worst nightmare,” he said.

Police said Monday that two of the guns used by the suspect were obtained legally and locally.

The Nashville victims were pronounced dead upon arrival at the Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital and Vanderbilt University Medical Center. One officer had a hand-wound from cut glass.

Police officers with rifles, heavy vests and helmets could be seen walking through the school parking lot and around the grassy perimeter of the building Monday morning.

Jozen Reodica heard the police sirens and fire trucks blaring from outside her office building nearby. As her building was placed under lockdown, she took out her phone and recorded the chaos.

“I thought I would just see this on TV,” she said. “And right now, it’s real.”

Rachel Dibble, who was with families as they reunited in the nearby church, described the scene as everyone being in “complete shock.”

“People were involuntarily trembling,” Dibble told the Associated Press. Her children attend a different private school in Nashville. “The children started their morning in their cute little uniforms they probably had some Froot Loops and now their whole lives changed today.”

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The Covenant School was founded as a ministry of Covenant Presbyterian Church in 2001, according to the school’s website. The school is located in the affluent Green Hill neighbourhood just south of downtown Nashville, situated close to the city’s top universities.

— with files from the Associated Press and Reuters

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