President Biden commented on the mass shooting at a Nashville school Monday saying, “It’s just, it’s sick.”
Nashville Metropolitan Police said three children and three adults were killed when a 28-year-old woman opened fire inside The Covenant School, a private Christian school for pre-K through 6th grade, Monday morning.
Later in the day police said all of the victims had been identified and that their families had been contacted.
“It’s heartbreaking, a family’s worst nightmare,” Biden said in remarks ahead of his scheduled address at the the Small Business Administration’s Women’s Business Summit.
He went on to say, “We have to do more to stop gun violence. It’s ripping our communities apart, ripping at the very soul of the nation,” while at the same time “we have to do more to protect our schools so they aren’t turned into prisons.”
Noting that police said the shooter was armed with two assault weapons, Biden further said, “I called on Congress again to pass my assault weapons ban. It’s about time that we began to make some more progress.”
Metropolitan Nashville Police got the first call about the shooting at 10:13am Central Time and “by 10:27, the shooter was deceased” after engaging police, the police department’s Don Aaron told reporters.
“And I want to commend the police who responded incredibly swiftly, within minutes in danger,” Biden said in his remarks.
Kendra Loney of the Nashville Fire Department said all of the remaining students were able to be escorted out of the building with faculty and staff, and that the students were being reunited with parents at the nearby Woodmont Baptist Church. She further said mental health specialists were being made available at the reunification site for students, family and staff “who are going to be affected by this today.”
Biden also noted the trauma the families would endure, comparing it to soldiers suffering from PTSD after being in battle. “These children, these teachers, they should be focusing on their mental health as well,” he said.
Attorney General Merrick Garland has been briefed on the shooting, a DOJ spokesperson said, adding that the FBI and ATF were on the scene to assist local law enforcement.
An FBI investigation found that men were behind 98% of all active shooter incidents in 2021 and that out of 250 active shooter incidents between 2000 and 2018, only nine involved women.
The Covenant School massacre was the 128th mass shooting in the U.S. so far this year and the third mass shooting in the U.S. to take the lives of elementary school children. On May 24 a mass shooter at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas killed 19 fourth graders and two teachers. That was the second deadliest elementary school shooting in U.S. history, after the 2012 massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary in Newtown, Connecticut, when a gunman slaughtered 20 first graders and six adults.