(NewsNation) — Three children and three adults were killed Monday morning after an active shooter unleashed gunfire at Covenant School, a private Christian elementary school in Nashville, Tennessee. Metro Nashville Police officers “engaged” with the 28-year-old shooter, leaving the suspect dead and bringing the death toll from the tragedy to seven people.
Tennessee state Senator Heidi Campbell represents the area where the school shooting unfolded Monday. She said she spent the day with the community as parents were either being reunited with their children or wondering if they were still alive.
In an interview with “On Balance” host Leland Vittert, Campbell explained how she felt seeing a parent find out their child didn’t make it.
“These parents were very concerned that it could have been their kid. One of the people in the congregation — we were sort of in a in a church that opened their doors to the parents — one of the people found out while we were in there that their child had been killed, and the primal scream that came from this person was something that I will never forget. What an absolute horror to find that out,” Campbell told “On Balance” host Leland Vittert.
Campbell described the school as “religious” and “small” nestled in an upper-class neighborhood of Nashville. She detailed that she was touched by how supportive the families were of each other.
“I was very moved by how supportive all of the families were of one another and how patient they were in what I thought was one of the most terrific days that they could have experienced. So it was a tough day for them,” Campbell said.
While investigators continue their work, details of the shooting and a possible motive have been sparse and developing. According to Metro Police, the suspect entered the school through a side entrance, armed with two “assault-type rifles” and a pistol. Metro Police Chief John Drake said initial information indicates the suspect was a Nashville resident who once attended the school.
The tragedy spurred reaction from multiple lawmakers, local leaders and groups. Some, like Campbell, are calling for action and saying guns are too accessible.
“It doesn’t really matter what’s in your heart or your head, what matters is what’s in your hands. You know, people have all kinds of issues in other countries and we don’t see these kinds of shootings,” Campbell said.
Metro Nashville Police identified the victims of the school shooting as Evelyn Dieckhaus, Hallie Scruggs, and William Kinney, all age 9, Cynthia Peak, age 61, Katherine Koonce, age 60, and Mike Hill, age 61. The shooter has been identified as 28-year-old Audrey Hale.
Police chief John Drake said Hale had maps of the school and shot out the glass of a door to gain access. Drake detailed it was a targeted attack and said a manifesto has been recovered. The investigation is ongoing.