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Nashville community reels after Covenant School shooting: "School is supposed to be a safe haven"

Police chief on Nashville school shooting
Police chief on Nashville school shooting and latest on investigation 06:22

As investigators work to determine a motive for a deadly shooting at a private Christian grade school in Nashville, pain and emotions are fresh in the community.

Authorities said 9-year-olds Evelyn Dieckhaus, Hallie Scruggs and William Kinney, as well as 61-year-old Cynthia Peak, 60-year-old Katherine Koonce and 61-year-old Mike Hill, were killed when the suspect, identified as 28-year-old Audrey Hale, opened fire at The Covenant School in the city's Green Hills neighborhood.

All three adults worked at the school. Police reported that the shooter's victims were on the building's first floor. 

"The parents' lives are forever changed today, forever. That's why I'm here," said a woman visiting a memorial at The Covenant School.

Natalia Cooper, whose children do not attend The Covenant School, became emotional as she shared that their schools were on lockdown in the vicinity. 

"I'm just glad to be reunited with them, and I feel so sad for the families that were affected," Cooper said.  

Shaundelle Brooks' son Aldane attends a nearby school. She said her heart sank when she learned about the shooting. 

"School is supposed to be a safe haven, you know," said Brooks, who lost her older son due to gun violence five years ago. 

Police officer Russell Ward was on the job working at what is now a crime scene but with the same heavy heart as parents everywhere. 

"I have kids, grandkids, and they're all in school. Whenever a child is involved, it magnifies the situation and touches everyone deeply," said Ward. 

On Monday afternoon, the suspect's home was searched by the police. According to Nashville Police Chief John Drake, they discovered a manifesto that was linked to the shooter, as well as detailed maps of the school. The manifesto mentioned a possible second location that the shooter ultimately decided against targeting, allegedly due to excessive security measures, authorities said. 

According to surveillance footage, the shooter arrived at The Covenant School's parking lot in a Honda Fit. Children playing on a nearby playground were visible in the background. Almost 20 minutes later, the shooter fired shots through glass doors on the side of the building to gain entry. 

Police received a call about an active shooter at 10:13 a.m. By that time, the surveillance video showed the shooter was already in a hallway inside the school. Five minutes later, the shooter opened the door to an office and emerged moments later. 

Police reported that the shooter's victims were on the building's first floor. When they arrived, the shooter was firing at responding officers from a window on the second floor. Images showed the locations where the bullets hit police car windshields. 

Fourteen minutes after receiving the 911 call, police reported that they had killed the shooter. 

Drake stated that the suspect had an assault-style rifle, an assault-style pistol, and a handgun. Authorities believe that two of the weapons were acquired legally. 

CBS News confirmed that The Covenant School received active shooter training in January of last year, as well as trauma medical training exactly one year ago. 

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