Motive still unclear in U.S. Nashville school shooting

2023-03-29 08:13:23Xinhua Editor : Li Yan ECNS App Download

Police said on Tuesday that they have yet to determine a motive in the Nashville, Tennessee, elementary school shooting.

"This school, this church building, was a target of the shooter," Nashville police spokesman Don Aaron told reporters a day after the shooting at the Covenant School that left six people dead, including three young students.

"But we have no information at present to indicate that the shooter was specifically targeting any one of the six individuals who were murdered," Aaron stressed.

The shooter, identified as 28-year-old Nashville resident Audrey Hale, purchased at least seven guns legally and locally, according to Nashville police chief John Drake.

Drake said that the shooter planned the shooting and used three of the guns, including two AR-style weapons, in the attack carried out on Monday morning before being killed by responding officers inside the Christian private school.

U.S. President Joe Biden said from an event in Durham, North Carolina, on Tuesday that "as a nation, we owe these families more than our prayers."

"We have to do more to stop this gun violence from ripping communities apart, ripping apart the soul of this nation, to protect our children, so they learn how to read and write instead of duck and cover in a classroom," Biden said.

He also reiterated his call for U.S. lawmakers to pass an assault weapons ban, stating that there was a "moral price to pay for inaction."

It is unlikely that the divided Congress would approve the legislative proposal as Republicans control the House of Representatives this term and have advocated for the Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms.

"I believe in the Second Amendment," House Judiciary Chairman Jim Jordan, an Ohio Republican, told reporters on Tuesday. "We shouldn't penalize law-abiding American citizens."

There have been 130 mass shootings in the United States so far this year, according to the Gun Violence Archive, which defines a mass shooting as one in which at least four people are shot, excluding the shooter.

Meanwhile, more than 10,000 people, including hundreds of children and teens, have lost their lives to gun violence in the past three months, the website's data showed. 


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