NASHVILLE (AP) – Six people were killed at a small private Christian school south of downtown Nashville on Monday after a gunman opened fire inside the building where about 200 students were, police said.
Police received a call about an active shooter at The Covenant School – a Presbyterian school – at about 10:15 a.m. Authorities said that about 15 minutes after that call to police, the shooter was dead. The remaining students were taken to a safe location to be reunited with their parents.
Here’s what we know and don’t know about the shooting:
HOW MANY PEOPLE WERE KILLED?
Nashville police said six people, including three students, were killed. The victims have been identified as Cynthia Peak, 61; Katherine Koonce, 60; Mike Hill, 61; and Evelyn Dieckhaus, Hallie Scruggs and William Kinney, all 9 years old. Officers also killed the shooter.
The website for The Covenant School, founded in 2001, lists Katherine Koonce as the head of school. Her LinkedIn profile says she has run the school since July 2016. Peak was a substitute teacher and Hill was a custodian, according to investigators.
WHAT DO WE KNOW ABOUT THE NASHVILLE SHOOTER?
Police gave vague information about the killer’s gender. Within hours, police identified the killer as a 28-year-old woman and eventually as Audrey Hale. Then at a late afternoon news conference, the police chief said Hale is transgender. After the news conference, police spokesman Don Aaron declined to specify how Hale identified himself.
Police said Hale was a former student at the school, but it was unclear if Hale had any current ties to the school or was related to anyone at the school at the time of the shooting. Police said the attacker made a detailed map of the school and conducted surveillance of the building before carrying out the massacre.
Police said Hale had two “assault-style” weapons and a handgun when Hale shot through the front door to enter the building. At least two of them are believed to have been legally obtained in the Nashville area, police said. During a search of Hale’s home, investigators found a sawed-off shotgun, another shotgun and other undetermined evidence.
HOW WAS THE NASHVILLE SHOOTER KILLED?
A team of five Nashville police officers entered the school after the initial call, police spokesman Aaron said. While clearing the first floor of students and staff, they heard gunfire on the second floor.
Two officers returned fire and fatally struck Hale at about 10:27 a.m., police said.
DO WE KNOW THE MOTIVE?
Investigators were sent to the killer’s home shortly after Hale was killed, police said. Hale had a map of the school with the planned route for the shooting, and officers found the files, police said.
Police have not confirmed any motive, and it is also unclear if Hale was trying to target any specific person during the shooting.
Police Chief John Drake said officers found files detailing a plan to attack the school and potentially other locations. He told NBC News that investigators believe the killer had “some resentment for having to go to that school.”
HOW MANY SCHOOL SHOOTINGS HAVE THERE BEEN SINCE COLUMBINA?
There have been 15 mass shootings at schools or universities in the US since the Columbine High School massacre in 1999. A mass shooting is defined as more than four people who die, not including the perpetrator, according to a database compiled by The Associated Press, USA Today and Northeastern University, among other AP reports:
Of those 15 shootings, 175 people died, the data show.