State and local leaders responded to the Covenant elementary school shooting in Nashville that left three students and three staff members dead.

Sen. Raumesh Akbari (D-Memphis), the Senate Democratic Leader, issued a statement today responding to an elementary school shooting in Nashville that left three students and three staff members dead.

Senator Raumesh Akbari:

“This is every family’s nightmare. Three little children. Three educators. All their precious lives gone in an instant. I am devastated and I am angry.

“This isn’t freedom. Our families don’t deserve this. I am sick of living in fear that our loved ones won’t make it home because of gun violence.

“Guns violence doesn’t care about your age or skin color, your income or zip code. This should not be a partisan issue.

“How many more lives have to be lost in school shootings before my colleagues across the aisle will join us to stop gun violence? We are ready to work with our colleagues to get something done.

“Prayers are good, but faith without works is dead. Let’s not let another preventable tragedy unfold without this legislature taking real action.”

Statement Regarding the Covenant School Shooting from Councilwoman Sharon Hurt

My heart is broken for the victims and families at Covenant School.

As a mother and a strong supporter of education, this both saddens and outrages me to my very soul. No student, no parent, no teacher, and no staff should have to go to a school building every day with the specter of gun violence looming over them.

When is it finally enough?

We must have a conversation about how to end this insanity, and we will. But today is about giving our love and support to the victims and their families. I stand firmly with them at this challenging time.

Statement from Senator London Lamar, chairwoman of the Senate Democratic Caucus:

“I cannot imagine the pain and trauma this school family is going through right now. We are praying for this community — and we are praying for action. School is supposed to be a safe place to send our kids. But it hasn’t been safe from gun violence for a long time.

“Now three elementary school students and three school staff members are dead at the hands of a shooter right here in our state. This is not normal.

“We do not and cannot accept that the mass murder of Americans is just the price we have to pay for living in our nation. For these families and every family shattered by gun violence, let us please find the strength to do whatever we can to stop the next shooting.”

A statement from Hal Cato, CEO, The Community Foundation of Middle Tennessee:

The Community Foundation of Middle Tennessee is heartbroken by the horrific and senseless shooting that took place on Monday, March 27 at The Covenant School here in Nashville. Because of the outpouring of love from our generous and thoughtful community, we have established the Caring for Covenant Fund to manage the donations made in response to this tragedy.

Gifts can be made to the Fund at

All donations made to the Fund, minus credit card fees, will be directed to The Covenant School to support the healing of those affected by this tragedy. Together, we will send a message of love and compassion to the entire Covenant community.

 In response to today’s tragic school shooting at Covenant School in Nashville, Southern Christian releases the following statement: 

“We are devastated by the death of 3 children and 3 teachers at Covenant School in Nashville. We are praying for the families and community of the school and all of their loved ones. This situation is a horrific tragedy and the worst nightmare of every parent and teacher.

As pastors we have been speaking out against the loosening of gun safety legislation for years because we see the direct connection between tragic gun violence and the lack of common sense laws. While today we pray and we grieve, we know that prayers are not enough and we will continue to demand policy that prioritizes the safety of students. Our children, across race, place, and background have invaluable worth and it’s past time to demand what our families need so that every child in every corner of our state has the freedom to thrive and pursue their dreams, no exceptions.”

TBCSL Covenant Christian School Shooting Statement:

The Tennessee Black Caucus of State Legislators stands with Nashville and the families of Covenant Christian School as they deal with this horrible event. This tragedy should serve as a clarion call for responsible gun ownership. 128 mass shootings in America this year and today is day 87 of the year 2023! When will enough be enough? Our ‘prayers’ need to become more thoughtful and intentional regarding this issue. The TBCSL respects our Second Amendment right to carry, yet this issue of senseless mass murder has become out of control. We have got to do more to protect children and all those providing an education for them. We have done nothing to address the root problem: proliferation of militarized guns in our communities.

We stand with President Biden as he continues to call on Congress to pass the Assault Rifle Ban. Prayers are good, but faith without works is dead. There is pending legislation in
Tennessee to decrease the age of open carry to 18 years of age and add long guns on the list of weapons for regular citizens to own. As a first step, we believe this legislation should be
pulled. Tennessee has some of the worst regulations on background checks when purchasing a weapon in the Nation; this we all agree on. Our constituents deserve real solutions. This is not about “politicizing the issue”. This is about our moral obligation as lawmakers to act. We cannot normalize mass shootings! Do not allow yourselves to become
desensitized to mass school shootings. It is not normal.

Statement of Nashville Area Chamber of Commerce on Covenant School Shooting

As the Middle Tennessee community grieves and processes the tragic loss of life at the Covenant School, our thoughts and prayers are with the Covenant School staff, as well as family, friends, and loved ones of the affected,” said Ralph Schulz, President and CEO, Nashville Area Chamber of Commerce. “Thank you to the heroic actions of the Metropolitan Nashville Police Department and school staff for their action in preventing further loss of life.”

Statement on Covenant School Shooting from RJ Mamula for Metro Council 14

“This morning, a mass shooting event claimed three adults and the three children at the Covenant School in Green Hills. Our hearts go out to the victims and their families of this senseless tragedy. Now is the time to unite and help our Nashville community by sending not only our thoughts and prayers, but also taking action in order to prevent unfortunate situations like this one. I am also praying that our local and state leaders have the courage to respond with compassionate policies designed to heal our community.”

Statement from State Rep. Bob Freeman

This is an impossibly hard week for our community. I, like many people across town, hugged my three children a little tighter as they were going to bed last night. While Nashville grows, we are still a small town. We go to church, school, and work with the victims and their families. Last night at church, my family and I came together in prayer with our community, and I’m sure many of you did the same.

Thoughts and prayers are not enough. While gun violence became the #1 leading cause of death amongst children, the state legislature is passing laws to make it easier than ever for people to access firearms that are meant solely to maim and kill human beings. It is time to pass red flag laws, ban assault weapons, and reverse permitless carry. The rest of the world has a meaningful impact on gun violence– there is a playbook we can follow. It doesn’t have to be like this in our communities.

It is time for my colleagues in the state legislature to step up and do the right thing to keep our children safe. Unfortunately, I’m afraid they likely lack the courage to do anything meaningful. We’ll see their thoughts and prayers for a couple more days, until they can return to ensuring all mass shooters have access to as many powerful guns as they can carry.

We can, and must, do better.

Bob Freeman