Nashville shooter who killed 6 drew maps, surveilled school
OAKLAND, Calif. - In chilling surveillance video, released by the Metropolitan Nashville Police Department – someone fires multiple rounds through a glass door at the Covenant School in Nashville to gain entry into this private Christian elementary school.
The suspect is seen heavily armed with two assault-style rifles and a 9-millimeter pistol. The person enters the church office and is seen on video walking past the children’s ministry, then aims one of the rifles while walking down a long hallway.
The shooter would go on to kill three 9-year-old students and three adults.
"When we send our kids to school or to any place of safety, we expect them to live, learn and have fun and come back from that day days experience. We don't anticipate things like this," said John Drake, the Nashville Chief of Police.
The first 911 calls came Monday morning while students were in class. Police say within 14 minutes, officers arrived, began clearing the building, and found the suspect on the second floor. Two officers opened fire, and fatally wounded the shooter.
"I was hoping this day would never, ever come here in this city," said Drake. "But we would never wait to make entry and to go in and to stop a threat, especially when it deals with our children."
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Police are calling this a "planned and calculated" attack. Drake said the 28-year-old suspect attended Covenant school years ago. He also said investigators found a manifesto, maps, and two additional shotguns during searches of the suspects car and home.
The victims have been identified as 60-year-old Katherine Koonce, who was the head of the school. Also killed was 61-year-old Cynthia Peak, a substitute teacher, and 61-year-old Mike Hill, a custodian. The three children who died are Evelyn Dieckhaus, Hallie Scruggs, and William Kinney.
John Cooper, the mayor of Nashville expressed grief, and called this the worst day. "Even in a remarkably fast response, there was not enough time," said Cooper. "Those guns stole precious lives from us today in Nashville. And in this dark hour, let us support each other. Let us go and hug our children a little bit closer tonight."
This story was reported from Oakland, Calif.