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(WABNEWS) — Some of the 911 calls made from The Covenant Elementary School amid the mass shooting were released Thursday by the city of Nashville. The recordings appear to capture some of the confusion at the scene as the massacre unfolded.
A woman who explains that she is inside the building while the shooting is taking place tells the operator: “I hear another shot.” The operator replies: “Do you hear him?” The woman then says, “I’m listening to another one.”RELATED
When asked by the 911 operator if they are in a safe place, a woman is heard saying that they are upstairs, next to the corridor of the art room. The muffled voice of a child is heard in the background.
The operator then assures her that the police are coming, but to “try to stay quiet.”
In another 911 call, a person tells an operator: “All I saw was a man holding an assault rifle as he was shooting through the door. He now he is in the second grade hallway upstairs. White male, in camouflage, had a vest on and an assault rifle.”
That same person then recounts to the 911 officer the movements of Audrey Hale, shooter, saying, “She’s coming down the halls, there’s glass in the doors, and she’s shooting through the doors.”
The release of the calls comes as more details about Hale, the attacker, including troubling messages sent to a childhood friend before the shooting and his frequent pain-filled posts on social media, are revealed. Still, it is not clear why she decided to attack the school and kill three children and three adults.
Also Thursday, a crowd of protesters gathered at the Tennessee State Capitol to call for gun control legislation, chanting “Do your job,” “Gun control now,” and “We want change.”
With six victims, Monday’s attack was the deadliest shooting at a US school since last May’s massacre in Uvalde, Texas, which left 21 victims dead.
Three of the six victims at the Nashville school were 9-year-old students Evelyn Dieckhaus, William Kinney and Hallie Scruggs, and the adults were identified as Katherine Koonce, the school’s 60-year-old principal; Cynthia Peak, a 61-year-old substitute teacher; and Mike Hill, a 61-year-old janitor, police said.
Teachers’ response saved lives, says expert
A former police officer, who provided training on attackers at the school, said this week that quick actions by teachers to lock down classrooms helped save lives.
The person who entered Covenant Elementary on Monday fired multiple shots into several classrooms, but the shots did not hit any students inside them, “because the teachers knew exactly what to do, how to lock their doors and where to put the children in those rooms.” salons,” security consultant Brink Fidler told WABNEWS.
“Their ability to literally perform flawlessly under that amount of stress, while someone was trying to murder them and the children, that’s what made the difference here,” Fidler said. “These teachers are the reason those children came home to their families,” she added.
All of the victims who were shot were in an open area or in a hallway, said Fidler, who toured the school with authorities Wednesday.
“The only victims that the attacker was able to hit were victims who were trapped in some type of open area or hallway,” Fidler said. “Several were able to evacuate safely. Those who couldn’t safely did exactly what they were taught and trained to do.”
Although Hale was aiming to carry out a shooting at that school, it is believed that the victims he shot were random, police said.
Credit for saving lives is also credited to officers who rushed into the school and fatally shot Hale, ending the 14 minutes of terror at the school.
“We had heroic agents put themselves in harm’s way to stop this and we could have been talking about a bigger tragedy,” Drake told WABNEWS on Wednesday.