Seven people were killed, including two staff members after a female shooter believed to be in her teens opened fire at a private Christian elementary school in Nashville on Monday morning. The incident took place shortly after 10 am on Monday at the Covenant School on the outskirts of the city.
Police shot and killed the shooter after she killed three youngsters and two staff members. Although three children have been confirmed dead, authorities haven't identified them. Also, the identity of the shooter hasn't yet been revealed, except that she was a female in her teens. Authorities said that luckily cops reached the scene on time or more people could have died in the deadly attack.
"We do not know who she is. She does appear to be in her teens," Don Aarons, the spokesman for Nashville Metropolitan Police said at a press conference on Monday afternoon.
No more information has been provided to parents other than the instruction to pick up their children from school.
"An active shooter event has taken place at Covenant School, Covenant Presbyterian Church, on Burton Hills Dr," Nashville Police said in a tweet. "The shooter was engaged by MNPD and is dead. Student reunification with parents is at Woodmont Baptist Church." Police have yet to publicly identify the shooter or the victims.
The shooter entered the school through a side door just before 10:13 am, and he started firing on the second level.
Police heard gunfire coming from the second floor as soon as they arrived on the scene. The female shooter had been shot dead by 10.27 a.m.
She had a handgun, two assault-style rifles, and other weapons.
"I know this is probably the worst day of everyone's lives.
"I can't tell you how sympathetic we are," a Metro Police officer was heard telling the parents as they waited at a nearby church for updates.
There are about 260 students and 33 employees at the school.
Many of those youngsters were seen escaping the building today while they were still wearing their school uniforms after the shooting began.
Although it is believed that there isn't any more threat, other schools in the region have gone into lockdown as a precautionary measure.
Nashville Mayor Freddie O'Connell said in a statement: "Nashville has, sadly, today joined the communities that have experienced a school shooting. For now, my focus is turning to supporting the impacted families and revisiting our efforts to prevent these horrifying scenarios."
It's unclear how many were also injured, or what type of weapon was used by the gunman. Also, the motive behind the shooting remains unclear.
Marsha Blackburn, a senator from Tennessee, was one of the first to offer her condolences. "Chuck & I are heartbroken to hear about the shooting at Covenant School in Nashville.
"My office is in contact with federal, state, & local officials, & we stand ready to assist.
"Thank you to the first responders working on site. Please join us in prayer for those affected."
Sen. Bill Haggerty tweeted: 'Devastated and heartbroken about the tragic news at Covenant School. I'm grateful to law enforcement and first responders for their heroic actions.'
It's a developing story.