NASHVILLE, Tenn. — A tragic shooting at The Covenant School, a Christian elementary school in Nashville, has left three children and three adults dead. Authorities have revealed that the former student responsible for the attack had meticulously planned the massacre by sketching a detailed map and conducting surveillance of the building. This heart-wrenching incident marks yet another in a series of mass shootings in the United States, further amplifying concerns about school safety.

The victims of this senseless act include three 9-year-old children, the school’s top administrator, a substitute teacher, and a custodian. The incident prompted panicked parents to rush to the school, tearfully embracing their children as they were ushered out of the building. The local community has organized vigils for the victims, with Nashville residents mourning together in the aftermath.

The shooter, identified as Audrey Hale, was fatally shot by two responding officers at the school. Police have disclosed that Hale was transgender but have not provided further details on how they currently identified. While the motive for the attack remains unclear, authorities have uncovered a manifesto and writings related to the incident that suggest Hale harbored resentment towards the school.

Investigators revealed that the shooter gained entry to the building by firing into glass doors, shattering them. Armed with two “assault-style” weapons and a handgun, it is believed that at least two of these firearms were obtained legally in the Nashville area. A search of the shooter’s home uncovered a sawed-off shotgun, another shotgun, and unspecified evidence.

In response to the tragedy, President Joe Biden called the shooting a “family’s worst nightmare” and urged Congress to pass a ban on certain semi-automatic weapons. Biden also ordered the U.S. flag to be flown at half-staff on all federal buildings through March 31, and spoke with Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee and Nashville Mayor John Cooper about the incident.

As the community struggles to cope with the tragedy, Nashville residents have come together for vigils, mourning their losses and expressing their grief. The Covenant School has released a statement acknowledging the heartbreak and shock felt by the community, emphasizing the focus on supporting students, families, faculty, and staff in the healing process.