Hale entered the building by shooting through a door on the side, police said. Once inside, Hale reportedly began firing at anyone in sight.
Among the victims were three 9-year-old children, Evelyn Dieckhaus, Hallie Scruggs, and William Kinney, as well as custodian Mike Hill, substitute teacher Cynthia Peak, and school head Katherine Koonce.
Metropolitan police arrived quickly, and Hale was killed after an encounter with officers on the second floor just four minutes into the shooting.
Officers found that Hale was equipped with at least two rifles and a handgun, and a search of the family home in Nashville revealed detailed maps and a manifesto of the attack.
The police are investigating whether Hale's identity as a trans person played a role in the deadly shooting. They are also in contact with the suspect's father and plan to release video footage of the shooting in the coming days.
The Covenant School, founded in 2001 as a ministry of Covenant Presbyterian Church, is a small private school that teaches students in pre-K through 6th grade.
Note: A previous version of this article referred to the rifles as "assault rifles." This has been changed to "rifles."
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