Tragedy struck Nashville on Monday when a former student carried out a planned attack on The Covenant School, a private Christian school.

The shooter, identified as 28-year-old Audrey Hale, shot through locked doors to gain entry to the school with two “assault-type” rifles and a handgun. In less than an hour, the shooter was killed after a confrontation with multiple Metropolitan Nashville Police officers.

The attack resulted in the loss of six lives, including three adults, a custodian, a substitute teacher, and the head of school, Katherine Koonce, who wrote a welcome letter to students and families on the school’s website.

Three 9-year-old students, Evelyn Dieckhaus, Hallie Scruggs, and William Kinney, were also tragically killed.

Police identified resentment as a possible motive for the attack, indicating that the shooter may have had a grudge against the school. Investigators are studying the writings the shooter left behind to better understand the motive for the attack.

Hale legally purchased seven firearms through five local gun stores, and while Hale’s parents were aware of only one gun, which they believed had been sold, the police found that Hale had detailed maps of the school and had carefully planned the attack.

The tragedy has left the Nashville community in shock, and investigators are still trying to piece together the events leading up to the shooting.

The police have said that they believe Hale may have identified as transgender, but did not provide more information. Hale had been receiving care for an “emotional disorder,” according to the police, but no further details were given regarding diagnosis or treatment.

Former school headmaster Bill Campbell, who knew Hale when they were a student, said that nothing about Hale stood out as a potential red flag, and that Hale was a “typical” child who was “loved and appreciated like all of our students.”

This is a stark reminder of how difficult it can be to predict such acts of violence and underscores the importance of supporting individuals struggling with mental health issues.

As Nashville and the world mourns the loss of the six individuals who lost their lives in this tragedy, our thoughts are with the victims’ families and the community affected by this senseless act of violence.

We hope that investigators can gain a better understanding of the motive behind the attack and use that knowledge to prevent similar tragedies from happening in the future.