(NASHVILLE, Tenn.) — Authorities are searching for answers after a shooter killed six people at a private Christian elementary school in Tennessee’s capital city on Monday morning.
The suspect — identified as Audrey Hale, 28, of Nashville — had a detailed map of the Covenant School and allegedly shot through the door to gain entry before gunning down three students and three staff members, according to the Metropolitan Nashville Police Department. A motive remains unknown.
“We have not been able to determine a motive as of yet. The investigation is still very much ongoing,” Metropolitan Nashville Police Chief John Drake told ABC News in an interview Tuesday on Good Morning America.
The slain children were identified as Evelyn Dieckhaus, Hallie Scruggs and William Kinney, all 9 years old. The deceased adults were identified as 61-year-old substitute teacher Cynthia Peak, 61-year-old custodian Mike Hill and 60-year-old Katherine Koonce, who was head of the school, police said.
The suspect was armed with at least two assault-style rifles as well as a handgun. At least two of those weapons were purchased legally and locally, according to police.
About 14 minutes after the initial 911 call came in, officers shot and killed the suspect in a lobby area on the second floor of the school, police said.
Investigators believe the suspect was a former student. The suspect had a map “of how this was all going to take place” as well as “writings,” and it appears the shooting was a targeted attack, according to Drake.
Drake had told reporters that the suspect was female and identified as transgender but didn’t immediately provide more details. A police spokesperson later told ABC News that the suspect was assigned female at birth but pointed to a social media account linked to the suspect that included the use of the pronouns he/him.
The Covenant School is for students in preschool through sixth grade. There are about 209 students and 40 to 50 staff members. It does not have a school resource officer, police said.
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