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As The Covenant School mourns, so do its Nashville neighbors

Nashville residents have responded to Monday's mass school shooting by creating a memorial outside of the school.
Individuals start laying flowers outside of The Covenant School on Monday, March 27, 2023.
Posted at 7:00 AM, Mar 28, 2023

Burton Hills is first and foremost home for Curtis McDowell.

"I am a native Nashvillian. I grew up in Green Hills. I went to Lipscomb and Belmont. That's about as homegrown as it gets," he said.

On Monday, seven people died during a school shooting at The Covenant School. That number includes the shooter, who was a 28-year-old Nashvillian. Three children and three adults died. From the moment of the 911 call until police shot the gunman, the mass shooting lasted 14 minutes. The school serves pre-kindergarten through the sixth grade.

Outside of the school, a memorial has started. Those who mourn have placed colorful flowers and white daisies. A plump brown teddy bear sits perched with balloons tethered to a ribbon quietly floating above.

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For McDowell it was important for him to pay respects, placing his own gesture as a part of the fabric of the memorial.

"My heart is broken for these families and for every Nashvillian," McDowell said. "Evil has come here today. None of us know why yet. Three beautiful children are gone. To me, that is unacceptable. No one wakes up on a Monday morning and thinks this tragedy will happen. I remember when this church was built. The bubble has been burst. Our Green Hills bubble has been burst. I don't know how we get our innocence back."

This article was written by Carrie Sharp and Emily West for Scripps News Nashville.