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Nashville shooting suspect bought 7 guns from local stores

(NewsNation) — The Nashville shooting suspect who killed multiple people, including three children, at a private Christian school Monday bought at least seven firearms legally from local stores, according to officials.

Three of those firearms were used in the shooting, Metro Nashville Police Chief John Drake said at a news conference.

Seven people in total, including the shooting suspect, died at The Covenant School, which has students ranging from preschool through sixth grade.

The shooter has previously been identified as Audrey Hale. Police interviewed the 28-year-old’s parents, who said they knew Hale had a gun that was later sold. After the gun was sold, Hale’s parents were under the impression Hale didn’t have any more weapons.

It turns out, however, that Hale, who was being treated by doctors for an emotional disorder, was hiding several weapons throughout the house.

“If it had it been reported that (Hale) was suicidal or that (Hale) was going to kill someone, and (it) had been made known to us, we would have tried to get those weapons,” Drake said.

Debunking rumors he said had spread through the community, Nashville Police spokesperson Don Aaron told reporters that they have no evidence at this time that Hale targeted specific people.

“This school, this church building was a target of the shooter, but we have no information at present to indicate that the shooter was specifically targeting any one of the six individuals who were murdered,” he said.

In a manifesto that Hale, a former student at the school, wrote, there was a map of the school, a drawing of potential entrances and assaults that would take place, Drake said. The police chief added, though, that he did not read the whole manifesto.

Police said they do not have a motive at this time.

The six victims fatally shot have been identified as Evelyn Dieckhaus, Hallie Scruggs and William Kinney, all age 9; Cynthia Peak, 61; Katherine Koonce, 60; and Mike Hill, 61.

“Our community is heartbroken. We are grieving tremendous loss and are in shock coming out of the terror that shattered our school and church,” The Covenant School said in a statement. “We are focused on loving our students, our families, our faculty and staff and beginning the process of healing.”

Outside the school, there’s a memorial for people to visit as they continue to remember the lives lost and the emptiness felt by the entire community.

“Maybe it doesn’t mean a lot to some people, but it does to me — just to come down here and put some flowers and think of (how) the people that have gone now are with God,” Carolyn Modisher, who lives near The Covenant School, said.

Rachel Cleghorn, who visited the memorial as well, said her “heart hurts deeply” for the victims, and even the attacker.

“I mean, my heart just hurts that there are so many lost people in this world,” Cleghorn said.

This is a developing story. Please check back for updates.

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