Update: According to local authorities, the shooter was a transgender person. It was previously reported the shooter was female.
Three students and three adults were shot and killed on Monday morning inside The Covenant School, a small private Christian school in Nashville. Officers “engaged” and killed the attacker on the second floor of the building before she had the opportunity to inflict more murders.
According to the Nashville Metropolitan PD, the attacker was a 28 year old White woman who attended the school—which has students from preschool through sixth grade—many years earlier.
Officials previously said the shooter appeared to be a teenager.
“At one point she was a student at that school, but unsure what year,” Metro Nashville Police Department Chief John Drake said when asked by a reporter.
The chief added the families of all six victims had been notified but didn’t share any identifying information.
“Right now I will refrain from saying the ages, other than to say I was literally moved to tears to see this and the kids as they were being ushered out of the building,” Drake said.
While mass shootings are no longer rare, female mass shooters are rare, especially in the U.S.
Approximately 17 mass shootings have been carried out by women in the country since 1979. Seven of them, including Monday’s shooting at The Covenant School, were school shootings.
President Biden said Monday that it’s “heartbreaking, a family’s worst nightmare.”
During a White House event celebrating women-owned small businesses, Biden commended the Nashville police, who he said responded “incredibly swiftly, within minutes, to end the danger.”
“We have to do more to stop gun violence. It’s ripping our communities apart, ripping the soul of this nation, ripping at the very soul of the nation,” Biden said. “And we have to do more to protect our schools so they aren’t turned into prisons.”
The president added, “I call on Congress again to pass my assault weapons ban. It’s about time that we begin to make some more progress.”
At 12:10 p.m. ET on NewsNation, Markie Martin, sitting in for Marni Hughes, reported news of the incident before promising additional updates. At 12:15 p.m. ET on Fox News, Harris Faulkner reported news of the incident with additional updates arriving minutes later. At 12:16 p.m., Abby Phillip reported news of the incident on CNN, before throwing to CNN’s Amara Walker, who immediately provided additional reporting from CNN Atlanta. At 12:26 p.m. ET, Andrea Mitchell reported the news on MSNBC before promising additional updates.
At 12:34 p.m. ET, an ABC News special report took over regularly scheduled ABC TV programming, anchored by ABC News Live anchor Diane Macedo. At 12:50 p.m. ET, an NBC News special report took over regularly-scheduled NBC TV programming, anchored by Lester Holt. There was no CBS News special report taking over regularly-scheduled CBS TV programming, with the network opting to cover the developing news story on the CBS News Streaming Network. The Talk’s Amanda Kloots did mention the news on CBS’ daytime talk show.
As expected, Nashville local stations did not take their network reports, instead sticking with their local coverage of the horrific incident.
A woman who survived another mass shooting in Highland Park, Ill., interrupted a press conference from Nashville officials and told reporters on the scene that she was on vacation visiting family in Nashville.
“Aren’t you guys tired of covering this? Aren’t you guys tired of being here and having to cover all of these mass shootings?” the woman remarked, in part.
Fox News had the local CBS affiliate feed (WTVF), which was showing the woman speaking for about a minute. As the station’s audio cut out, Fox News anchor John Roberts went off script and provided his own commentary on the shooting.
“The woman said it quite succinctly, ‘Aren’t you tired of this?’ Yes, we are tired of this,” said Roberts said. “We are very tired of having to report on school shootings week in and week out.”
Roberts noted that the son of Fox News correspondent Alicia Acuna had to evacuate his school in Denver just five days earlier because of a shooting there that wounded two faculty members.
“It was just last week with our Alicia Acuna was frantically waiting for her son to come out of the East High School in Denver where there had been shooting, there was the Uvalde, Texas shooting, there was Sandy Hook, Parkland, there were all of these school shootings and yes, I think as a nation we are tired of these.
Roberts turned to his co-anchor Sandra Smith and added, “Sandra, I don’t mean to be speaking out of turn but I believe as a parent that there are a lot of people out there who are sick of these school shootings.”