Tempers flare at Tennessee Capitol in aftermath of Nashville school shooting: report

Tempers flared at the Tennessee state Capitol on Monday as lawmakers gathered in the aftermath of a shooting at a Nashville private school that killed six people including three children, The Tennessean reports.

Three faculty members were also killed in the shooting at The Covenant School, a Christian private, according to The Metro Nashville Police Department. The shooting suspect, a 28-year-old Nashville woman was fatally shot by police, The Associated Press reports.

According to The Tennessean’s Melissa Brown, Republicans sought to pause regularly scheduled legislative debate in both chambers and Democrats called for toughening gun laws as they slammed their political opponents for promoting expanded access to firearms.

A tense exchange erupted between state Rep. Bo Mitchell (D-Nashville) and House Speaker Cameron Sexton (R-Crossville) after Mitchell slammed Republicans for identifying as "pro-life" while supporting expanded access to firearms.

Sexton gaveled Mitchell down, saying he’d gone off the "welcoming and honoring" agenda item.

"I'll tell you one thing: There's six people today I can't welcome and honor anymore into this hallowed house," Mitchell said, according to the report.

"Y'all just think about those six people and think if your guns are worth it."

State Sen. Heidi Campbell during a visit to the reunification center was with a mother who learned her child was killed.

"I heard her primal scream," Campbell said.

"It was a day that the minutes seemed like hours. It took several hours for us to reunify them with their children. It did not have to happen. We have a horrible gun problem in our country."

The children killed in the shooting were identified by police as Evelyn Dieckhaus, Hallie Scruggs, and William Kinney, all 8 or 9 years old, and the adult victims were identified as Cynthia Peak, 61, Katherine Koonce, 60, and Mike Hill, 61.

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