6 killed in Tennessee Christian school shooting by trans-identified shooter with 'assault-type rifles'

Children arrive at Woodmont Baptist Church to be reunited with their families after a mass shooting at The Covenant School on March 27, 2023 in Nashville, Tennessee. According to initial reports, three students and three adults were killed by the shooter, a 28-year-old woman. The shooter was killed by police responding to the scene. | Seth Herald/Getty Images

UPDATE: 5:30 p.m. ET March 27: The shooter has been identified as Audrey Hale, 28, of Nashville, according to Metropolitan Nashville Police Chief John Drake. Hale was a former student at the school and self-identified as trans.

UPDATE: 2:30 p.m. ET March 27: In a tweet Monday afternoon, the Metro Nashville Police Department stated that the shooter who opened fire at the Covenant Presbyterian School of Nashville was a 28-year-old Nashville woman. Authorities have yet to release her name. 


A female shooter opened fire on the campus of a Christian school in Tennessee on Monday morning, killing at least three children and three adults before being shot dead by police. 

The Covenant Presbyterian School of Nashville, a private school founded in 2001 by the Covenant Presbyterian Church, which is affiliated with the Presbyterian Church in America, was the target of the shooting. 

The Metropolitan Nashville Police Department held a press conference Monday afternoon, with spokesperson Don Aaron providing a "police overview" of the events. He said the "police response was swift."

According to Aaron, authorities received the first call about the shooting at 10:13 a.m. local time. A team of five officers killed the shooter by 10:27 a.m., with two police officers opening fire on the shooter.

Aaron did not provide the shooter's name, saying that she lacked identification, but noted that it appeared to be a teenage female armed with "two assault-type rifles and a handgun."

"Officers entered the first story of the school, began clearing it, they heard shots coming from the second level, they immediately went to the gunfire," Aaron reported.

"When 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."

Aaron said authorities are investigating the shooter's identity and will examine the school's video footage to determine the sequence of events.

"She entered the school through a side entrance and [made] her way from the first floor to the second floor, firing multiple shots," Aaron said. "We now know there are three students who are fatally wounded, as well as three adults inside the school. We are working to identify those victims. Including the shooter, a total of seven persons were killed."

Shortly before the press conference, Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee took to social media, saying he is "closely monitoring the tragic situation at Covenant."

"As we continue to respond, please join us in praying for the school, congregation & Nashville community," Lee wrote, adding that "the Tennessee Department of Safety & Tennessee Highway Patrol are assisting local law enforcement & first responders at the scene."

Earlier in the morning, the Nashville Fire Department stated on Twitter that it was "responding to an active aggressor at 33 Burton Hills Blvd Covenant School."

According to NFD spokesperson Kendra Loney, the Fire Department is always dispatched to possible mass shootings to provide medical support and other aid to those impacted by the mass shooting.

"We can confirm we have multiple patients. Parents coming to the school should go to 20 Burton Hills at this time. this is an active scene," tweeted the NFD.

The department also set up a reunification site to unite parents and their children when possible and also provided mental health professionals to assist those traumatized by the shooting.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation is also reportedly investigating.

Follow Michael Gryboski on Twitter or Facebook

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