Nashville school shooter had 7 guns hidden at home: Police
The 28-year-old Nashville killer of three kids and three adults at a private school was being treated for an "emotional disorder".
The 28-year-old who shot dead six people at an elementary school in Nashville had the ability to buy and hide multiple weapons in the family home despite evidence of mental health issues, police reported Tuesday.
Two nine-year-old girls, a nine-year-old boy, two teachers, and a school custodian died in the Monday attack, which refueled the bitter debacle over gun rights in the United States.
As the sun fell on Tuesday, a continuous stream of mourners, many of them in tears, gathered in front of a makeshift memorial to the victims of the shooting at the Covenant School in Nashville.
The shooter, Audrey Hale, was being treated for an "emotional illness," claimed Nashville Police Chief John Drake, who also revealed that Hale's parents thought their child—who lived at home with them—had purchased and later resold a single gun.
Armed with at least two assault rifles and a handgun, the shooter entered Covenant School from a side door before opening fire, Nashville Police Spokesperson Don Aaron told a press conference.
The assailant, believed to have been a former student at the school, fired multiple shots as she went through the building until the police stopped her.
It is also worth noting that the shooter had maps of the school and left a manifesto that suggested more attacks were planned.
Police publicize bodycam footage of shooting
Hale is shown on security camera footage firing down doors to enter the school and roaming the deserted hallways as the emergency lights go off.
The shooter made her way through the building while donning a red baseball helmet, camouflage leggings, and a black military-style vest. She then started shooting at staff members and children.
After receiving the initial emergency call, officers arrived on the scene in about 15 minutes. Police were shown on bodycam footage maneuvering past classrooms with miniature desks and papercraft.
Officers draw in on a sun-filled atrium where the attacker was shot dead and hear several gunshots.
School shootings happen very often in the United States, where the proliferation of firearms has soared in recent years.
Officials are yet to find any indications of a motive for the Nashville attack.
Guns on the rise
Commenting on the latest shooting to hit the US, President Joe Biden commented saying it was "sick" and underlined that 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.
In January, Biden called on Congress to pass new legislation to ban assault weapons in light of a recent spate of shootings, including one in Monterey Park, California. He urged both chambers of Congress to act quickly and deliver the Assault Weapons Ban.
The US President said there was still work to be done to "keep dangerous firearms out of dangerous hands" after he signed the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act this summer.
The debate on banning guns in the US was given a lot of impetus in May 2022, when a string of mass shootings that left dozens dead culminated in Congress discussing a ban on assault rifles.
The US House of Representatives passed in July 2022 a bill that stipulates banning assault weapons, marking a first in decades in light of a mass shooting epidemic in the country.
The anti-gun legislation was approved by 217 House members and opposed by 213 in the body controlled by a Democratic party majority.
The United States is deeply divided about reforming gun laws despite the aforementioned erratic episode of gun violence. The bill passed the House floor with the support of two Republicans who joined efforts with their democratic counterparts and backed the measure.
The bill passing marked the first ban on assault rifles since 1994 when Congress passed a 10-year ban on weapons and certain high-capacity magazines. Lawmakers, however, let the ban expire in 2004, sending the sales of arms nationwide skyrocketing.
The bill bans the sale, import, manufacture, or transfer of certain semi-automatic rifles, which have long been used in the United States in mass shootings, especially over mid-2022, such as in Buffalo, New York, Uvalde, Texas, and Highland Park, Illinois.
Other measures include bolstering background checks, a ban on high-capacity magazines, maintaining safe storage of firearms, and allowing for the liability of gun manufacturers for crimes committed using their products.
Gunmakers in the United States have seen a tremendous hike in earnings from their sales of AR-15-style rifles, a US House Oversight Committee probe revealed last year while lawmakers and the public call for holding the industry accountable for crimes committed using their products.