The assailant who killed six people at a Christian elementary school in Nashville had legally purchased seven firearms recently — including the three used in the shooting — and was being treated for an emotional disorder, the Nashville police chief said on Tuesday.
The shooter, who the police have identified as Audrey E. Hale, was under doctor’s care, said Chief John Drake of the Nashville Metro Police Department at a news briefing on Tuesday afternoon. Chief Drake added that the shooter’s parents felt that their child “should not own weapons.”
The shooter purchased seven firearms from five local gun stores and stashed them around the house, Mr. Drake said, using three of them on Monday to kill three 9-year-old children and three adults. The parents initially believed that their child no longer owned any firearms after selling a weapon, they told the police in interviews.
In the immediate aftermath of the shooting, the school was placed on lockdown as police and emergency responders rushed to the scene. Parents and guardians of students at the school were instructed to wait for further updates before attempting to pick up their children.
As news of the shooting spread, the community of Nashville came together to offer support and condolences to those affected. Local officials and law enforcement officials held a press conference to update the public on the situation and express their sympathies to the victims and their families.
“This is a tragic day for our city,” said Nashville Mayor John Cooper. “Our thoughts and prayers are with the students and families affected by this senseless act of violence.”
The Nashville shooting is yet another example of the ongoing issue of gun violence in the United States. According to the Gun Violence Archive, there have been over 100 mass shootings in the country so far this year, with more than 4,000 total incidents of gun violence.
In response to the shooting, advocates for gun control have renewed their calls for stronger legislation to prevent such tragedies from occurring in the future. They point to the fact that the United States has a higher rate of gun ownership than any other developed country, and argue that stricter gun control measures could help to reduce the frequency and severity of gun violence.
Opponents of gun control, on the other hand, argue that such measures would infringe upon the Second Amendment rights of law-abiding citizens and do little to prevent criminals and other dangerous individuals from obtaining firearms.
The debate over gun control is a contentious and polarizing issue in the United States, with both sides holding deeply entrenched beliefs and political interests. However, as the frequency and severity of mass shootings and other acts of gun violence continue to rise, it is clear that something must be done to address the issue.