“There is evil in the world, and that’s what we saw walk into that school today — evil,” Rev. Franklin Graham said in reference to a deadly Nashville Christian school shooting carried out Monday by a transgender person.
“Our hearts break for the families who lost loved ones in the elementary school shooting today outside of Nashville. Reports say that 6 people were killed at The Covenant School, 3 children and 3 adults,” Graham wrote to his 10 million Facebook followers.
“We have deployed 10 Billy Graham Rapid Response Team crisis-trained chaplains to be there and minister to the people of this community,” Graham added, noting that even in the darkest times, “God promises He will never leave us.”
“The Bible says, ‘The LORD is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit,’” he wrote, citing Psalm 34.
“Will you join me in praying for the families, students, school staff, and all those who are mourning this tragedy?” he concluded.
Nashville police spokesman Don Aaron said Monday that officers had engaged an armed woman at the Covenant School who was firing and managed to put her down. The woman was armed with two assault rifles and a handgun, police noted.
The shooter, later identified as 28-year-old Audrey Hale, killed three adults and three 9-year-old children before being shot by police. Hale, who police said identified as a man, left behind a detailed manifesto and plan for her shooting spree.
In online profiles, Hale went by the name Aiden and indicated a preference for he/him pronouns.
Police: Suspect in Christian School Shooting Identified as Transgender https://t.co/xzKqG7BZON via @BreitbartNews
— AWR Hawkins (@AWRHawkins) March 27, 2023
Asked whether Hale’s gender identity could be a motivating factor in the shooting, Nashville Metropolitan police chief John Drake said authorities “feel that she identifies as trans, but we’re still in the initial investigation into all of that and if it actually played a role into this incident.”
“It could have been far, far worse,” Drake said, noting that Hale’s writings indicated that The Covenant School wasn’t her only target.
“It indicates that there was going to be shootings at multiple locations, and the school was one of them,” Drake said.
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