Nashville shooting suspect was 28-year-old woman, former student

Three children and three adults were killed following a mass shooting at Covenant School in Nashville’s Green Hills neighborhood on Monday morning, officials said. 

The suspected shooter, who was fatally shot by police, was identified as a 28-year-old woman from Nashville, authorities said. Her name has not yet been released. Officials said that she was armed with “at least” two assault rifles and a handgun.

Police said their preliminary investigation indicates that the shooter was at one time a student at the school, Nashville Police Chief John Drake said. He did not know exactly when she may have attended. Police initially identified the shooter as a teenage girl.

Convent is a private Christian school with 33 teachers and up to 210 students starting in preschool through 6th grade, according to the school website, and was founded in 2001.

The police response

The shooter entered Covenant School through a side door and traversed the building, moving from the first floor to the second floor and “firing multiple shots,” Metropolitan Nashville Police Department spokesman Don Aaron said. 

Responding officers saw the shooter firing on the second level, and at that point, they “engaged” her, Aaron said. She was fatally shot by two of the five responding police officers at the scene, he said. 

Female mass shooters are rare

While not much is known about the shooter, the fact that she was a woman is rare. 

Since 1982, only three mass shootings in the United States have been carried out by women, according to data from the Statista Research Department. In that same time frame, men have been behind 135 mass shootings, Statista reported. 

In 1979, 16-year-old Brenda Spencer opened fire on Cleveland Elementary School in San Diego, killing two adults and wounding eight children. 

Spencer used a .22 caliber rifle her father had given her for Christmas, reported. 

At the time the teen famously told a reporter that she carried out the shooting because, “I don’t like Mondays,” reported. 

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