On Monday morning a shooter entered the Covenant School in Nashville, Tennessee and shot and killed six individuals before police officers engaged with and killed the murderer. The shooter was soon identified as Audrey Elizabeth Hale, a Nashville resident and former student who identified as a transgender woman. Hale killed three students and three adults, including the head of the school,
The Covenant School is a private Christian grade school for students up to 6th grade, according to its website. Officials say Hale was identified as a woman carrying two AR-style weapons, including a rifle and pistol, and a handgun.
Nashville police Chief John Drake said Hale possibly prepared for the shooting, including having written a manifesto. “We have also determined that there were maps drawn of the school in detail of surveillance entry points. At one point she was a student at that school,” he said. “There was a vehicle nearby that gave us a clue as to who she was.”
Drake added that two of the weapons may have been purchased legally in the Nashville area. Investigators have been searching a home associated with Hale and are probing a possible theory for a motive but did not disclose any details.
Fox News reports the Nashville branch of the Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms (ATF) has also deployed agents to assist the MNPD in responding to the attack.
Nashville Mayor John Cooper released a statement regarding the attack on Monday.
“In a tragic morning, Nashville joined the dreaded, long list of communities to experience a school shooting,” he wrote. “My heart goes out to the families of the victims. Our entire city stands with you. As facts continue to emerge, I thank our first responders and medical professionals.”
We are responding to an active aggressor at 33 Burton Hills Blvd Covenant School.
We can confirm we have multiple patients.
Parents coming to the school should go to 20 Burton Hills at this time. this is an active scene.
— Nashville Fire Dept (@NashvilleFD) March 27, 2023
Fox News also reported:
Police say the shooter entered the building through a side door and fired shots before moving to the second floor, where Hale was confronted by responding officers. They don’t believe she was wearing any body armor, authorities said.
Officials at the medical center say three young students were transported to Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt with gunshot wounds. All three were pronounced dead after arrival. The three more adults were also pronounced dead following the attack. All three were staff at the school.
The victims were identified by police as Evelyn Dieckhaus, Hallie Scruggs, and William Kinney, all age 9, Cynthia Peak, 61, Katherine Koonce, 60, and 61-year-old Mike Hill. Koonce was the head of school at Covenant, according to the school’s website.
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Department of Education Office of Civil Rights opens investigation into Harvard University
On Tuesday the United States Department of Education’s Office of Civil Rights opened an investigation into Harvard University in order to determine if the school has fulfilled legal obligation to respond to the increase in antisemitic incidents after Hamas’ brutal attack on Israel on October 7th.
The university agreed to cooperate with the investigation in a statement issued Wednesday. “We support the work of the Office for Civil Rights to ensure students’ rights to access educational programs are safeguarded and will work with the office to address their questions,” the statement read.
The DOE has also opened investigations into Columbia University, Cornell University, Wellesley College, and the University of Pennsylvania this month over “discrimination involving shared ancestry” under Title VI.
the investigation was prompted after a complaint which stated Harvard “discriminated against students on the basis of their national origin (shared Jewish ancestry and/or Israeli) when it failed to respond appropriately to reports of incidents of harassment,”
National Review reports that while the Office of Civil Rights does not typically disclose which specific complaints prompted an investigation, there have been several high-profile incidents of antisemitism at Harvard and other Ivy league universities in recent weeks.
Hedge fund manager Bill Ackman sent an open letter to Harvard president Claudine Gay earlier this month which cited the confrontation at the “die-in” and urged her to take action to protect Jewish students.
“Jewish students are being bullied, physically intimidated, spat on, and in several widely-disseminated videos of one such incident, physically assaulted,” Mr. Ackman wrote. “On-campus protesters on the Widener Library steps and elsewhere shout, ‘Intifada! Intifada! Intifada! From the River to the Sea, Palestine Shall be Free!’”
Harvard President Claudine Gay released a statement about “combatting antisemitism” on November 9:
“I affirm our commitment to protecting all members of our community from harassment and marginalization, and our commitment to meeting antisemitism head-on, with the determination it demands,” Gay said. “Let me reiterate what I and other Harvard leaders have said previously: Antisemitism has no place at Harvard.”
Among the antisemitic events that have circulated national news are how just days after the Hamas attack, a 19-year-old Columbia student was arrested for allegedly assaulting an Israeli student who was trying to prevent the suspect from tearing down posters of Israeli hostages. Also at Cornell, a 21-year-old student was arrested for allegedly threatening to murder and rape his Jewish classmates on an anonymous online message board.
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