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The armed 28-year-old woman who fatally shot three students and three adults at a private Christian school in Nashville before she was shot and killed by police has been identified by the New York Post and NBC News as Audrey Hale, a Nashville resident.
Reporters for both publications cited unnamed sources. The police have not officially identified the suspect yet.
CNN previously reported that the shooter entered the Covenant School through a side door and was armed with at least two assault-style rifles and a handgun.
The assailant -- who police said was believed to be a former student at the school -- fired multiple shots as she advanced through the building.
Officers were on the scene within about 15 minutes of receiving the first emergency call around 10:00 am (1500 GMT), engaging the shooter who returned fire before she was shot dead, Aaron said.
School shootings are alarmingly common in the United States, where the proliferation of firearms has soared in recent years, though female shooters are extremely rare.
There was no initial indication of a motive for the Nashville attack.
President Joe Biden described the latest shooting as "sick" and said gun violence was tearing the nation's "soul," as he urged Congress to pass a ban on the assault weapons commonly used in mass shootings.
"It's ripping our communities apart, ripping the soul of this nation, ripping at the very soul of the nation," he said.
Police spokesman Aaron said officials were still working to identify the three students and three adults killed in the attack, as well as the shooter.
He said there were no other injuries.
"All of the remaining students were able to be escorted out of the building with faculty and staff," Kendra Loney of the Nashville fire department said.
"But we are sure that they heard the chaos that was surrounding this, so we do have mental health specialists and professionals that are at that reunification site for both the students and the families."
The Covenant School is a private Presbyterian institution with a little more than 200 students in preschool to roughly age 12. The adult victims were among 40 to 50 staff at the school.
At the White House, Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre asked what Republicans were waiting for to "step up and act to pass the assault weapons ban."
Biden's calls for Congress to reinstate the national ban on assault rifles, which existed from 1994 to 2004, has run up against opposition from Republicans, who are staunch defenders of the constitutional right to bear arms and have had a narrow majority in the House of Representatives since January.
The legislation deadlock in Washington has come despite public uproar over high-profile massacres such as the one at Sandy Hook elementary school in Connecticut in 2012, when 26 people, including 20 children were killed.
Last year, a shooter in Uvalde, Texas, killed 19 students and two teachers.
Between those two tragedies, the shooting of 14 students and three staff members in Parkland, Florida in 2018 fueled a nationwide movement, led by young people, to demand stricter gun controls.
But despite huge demonstrations, Congress has not adopted significant new legislation, with many lawmakers backed by the influential National Rifle Association (NRA).
Several elected officials in the state of Tennessee on Monday took to social media to express their shock over the latest outburst of gun violence to shock the country.
"Devastated and heartbroken about the tragic news at Covenant School," tweeted Senator Bill Hagerty.
With additional reporting by AFP
MyPillow Chief Executive Officer and conspiracy theorist Mike Lindell called into right-wing twice-convicted felon Steve Bannon's War Room show during a snow goose hunting trip on Monday to complain about "the media" and to "bash" Florida's Republican Governor Ron DeSantis.
Lindell is a firm ally of former President Donald Trump and the most vocal proponent of Trump's debunked lies about the 2020 election. That loyalty landed Lindell on the receiving end of a $1.3 billion defamation lawsuit filed by Dominion Voting Systems, which Lindell falsely alleges switched ballots to President Joe Biden, who won in a landslide.
Dominion also has a $1.6 billion case against Fox News and its hosts for peddling Trump's claims despite having known that they were bogus.
Speaking with Bannon on Real America's Voice, Lindell noted that he chatted with attendees at Trump's Saturday rally in Waco, Texas.
"Great. The, uh, the media, the people I took, uh, I, I went out in the crowd for about five hours and, uh, everybody is just, uh, so, uh, excited for this, uh, campaign and, uh, uh, the media, of course, I was, I did interview after interview, and they, of course, they took out little pieces and the word got out," Lindell said.
"I know one of the ones that went out there as I, I bash, Ron DeSantis, called him the Trojan Horse again," Lindell continued, "and I, I stand by what I say, um, uh, what he's personally done, uh, down there with, uh, the Dominion lawyers and such."
Yet it was Lindell's disheveled appearance and jittery disposition that captured the internet's attention.
BobbyB: "He looks like I used to after being up 3 days on meth."
@The_Gunit11: "Right-wing internet conspiracy theories really are just like drugs. People just can't wait to get their next fix."
AI Chatbot: "HE'S HOMELESS AND LIVING IN A CAR!!!!"
McHammerToe: "That shaking hand…"
Tomo: "Motherf*cker has the shakes."
Lindell was further ridiculed for his fealty to Trump.
Albert Yome: "He's not fascist enough for them?"
Alex Simon: "It's cute how much Mike wants Trump to like him...sorry, not cute...gross. It's gross."
Scott: "If I have to listen to Mike it had better include a promo code."
'We're going to beat up the gay kid': Teen killed near Murdaugh estate was hate crime victim, lawyer says
Stephen Smith was found found dead on July 8, 2015, on a dark road in Hampton County, S.C., three miles away from his vehicle and near the Murdaugh family estate. In the wake of his death being recently ruled a homicide, his family's lawyer is giving his theory on what led to Smith's death, PEOPLE Magazine reported.
"When you start going down the possibility that it was a hate crime and they took a rape kit, this is an openly gay 19-year-old kid," Eric Bland told PEOPLE. "And this isn't in New York City or California or Washington D.C., Philadelphia. It's in the Lowcountry, South Carolina, where being openly gay in 2015 probably is not the most popular thing to be."
"I think it was a hate crime," Bland said. "Meaning that it could be that a bunch of thug kids decide, 'Hey, we're going to beat up the gay kid,' or it was somebody who felt that Stephen was going to out them in their relationship or was uncomfortable with Stephen in their friendship."
"I think that's what we're going to find, because Stephen had told his mother that he was dating somebody of prominence," Bland continued. "He was very secretive about his lifestyle. He wasn't secretive about the fact that he was gay, but he respected the boundaries of people who he had relationships with."
IN OTHER NEWS: Life sentence for Michigan mom who says SpongeBob told her to brutally murder 3-year-old daughter
Buster Murdaugh, who is the surviving son of convicted murderer Alex Murdaugh, and Smith were high school classmates. As PEOPLE points out, authorities haven't accused the Murdaugh family or Buster Murdaugh of being connected to the killing, nor have they ruled the killing a hate crime.
Alex Murdaugh, scion of an elite family of judges and attorneys, was convicted and sentenced earlier this month in a televised three-week trial that captivated viewers nationwide and outside the country.
Despite the lack of concrete evidence like a murder weapon or DNA showing he shot his son Paul and wife Maggie at their sprawling hunting estate on June 7, 2021, it took a jury only a few hours to convict him.
Evidence from his son's cell phone indicated Murdaugh, 54, was the only person with them at the estate's hunting dog kennels several minutes before Maggie was killed with an assault rifle and Paul with a shotgun.
One day after the jury ruled, the judge sentenced Murdaugh to two consecutive life sentences, without parole.
READ MORE: Murdaugh family member mysteriously buying up family heirlooms on auction
Just ahead of the sentencing, the lanky, red-headed attorney who made a fortune suing companies but also stole millions from his law firm to feed a huge opioid habit, denied he killed them.
"I'm innocent. I would never hurt my wife Maggie. And I would never hurt my son Paw Paw," he said, using his son's nickname.
"It might not have been you," the judge responded. "It might have been the monster you become when you take 15, 20, 30, 40, 50, 60 opioid pills."
The twists and turns of the case focused on a family which the judge said "controlled justice" in the South Carolina coastal lowlands for generations.
The trial delved deeply into the culture of hunting wild pigs and other wildlife in the area, Murdaugh's admitted theft of huge sums from clients including poor families, and raised questions about two other deaths possibly tied to the Murdaugh family.
Even before the trial finished, Netflix and HBO rushed out docu-dramas on the case.
With additional reporting by AFP