Three adults and three children are confirmed dead after a mass shooting at a private Christian school in Nashville, Tennessee, Monday morning, according to the Metro Nashville Police Department.
A 28-year-old female suspect, believed to be a former student of the Covenant School, was fatally shot by police officers who responded to a shots-fired call at 10:13 AM.
"Right now I will refrain from saying the ages other than to say I was literally moved to tears to see kids as they were being ushered out of the building," said MNPD Chief John Drake during a briefing Monday.
The Covenant School serves students in pre-K through 6th grade, according to its website.
There have already been at least 33 incidents of gunfire on school grounds in 2023, according to Everytown for Gun Safety. Last updated the day of the Covenant shooting, the count does not yet include this latest tragedy.
Last year marked the worst year on record for school shootings, which have been overall on the rise since 2016. A study released in January by the U.S. Secret Service's National Threat Assessment Center shows educational institutions are the third most targeted site for mass shootings.
Gun violence is also now the leading cause of death for children and teenagers in the U.S., according to the National Institutes of Health.
In 2021, Tennessee became a permitless carry state, allowing almost anyone at least 21 years old to openly or conceal-carry a handgun in most public places as long as they are legally able to do so.