'Aren't you guys tired of this?': Woman who survived Highland Park shooting makes plea in Nashville
A woman who survived the July 4th shooting in Highland Park, Illinois, gave an emotional plea after authorities announced three students and three staff members were killed in a shooting at a small private Christian elementary school in Nashville.
Following a news conference with Metro Nashville Police, mother Ashbey Beasley turned to reporters and asked, "aren't you guys tired of covering this?" She said she was on a family vacation in the area when she learned of the shooting.
"Aren't you guys tired of being here and having to cover all of these mass shootings?" Beasley said. "I'm from Highland Park, Illinois. My son and I survived a mass shooting over the summer. I am in Tennessee on a family vacation, with my son, visiting my sister-in-law. I have been lobbying in D.C. since we survived a mass shooting in July. I have met with over 130 lawmakers.
"How is this still happening? How are our children still dying and why are we failing them?"
Beasley's comments were caught on video from news organizations at the scene.
"Aren't you guys tired of this? You're not sick of it? We have to do something," Beasley said.
Covenant School shooting updates:3 children, 3 adults dead after woman opens fire in Nashville
Mom survived Highland Park shooting
Beasley told USA TODAY in August she was with her then 6-year-old son at a Fourth of July parade when a gunman opened fire from a rooftop, killing seven people and injuring several more.
She said her son was struggling to cope with the trauma of the shooting, and began to show up at lawmakers' Capitol Hill offices to tell her story.
"The activism has sort of become my therapy," Beasley said. "There's no absolute answer that's going to prevent every single gun death. But we have to do everything in our power to do the things that we know will work."
In November, ABC Chicago reported Beasley was scheduled to meet with senators in Washington D.C. to urge lawmakers to push for a federal assault weapons ban.
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'An angry mom has to get up and has to say it'
Beasley said she was planning to have lunch on Monday with a woman who lost her son to gun violence when the woman said her son's school was in lockdown because of the shooting in Nashville.
"I immediately was like, 'I'm gonna come over there. I don't want you to be alone,'" Beasley told USA TODAY.
After meeting with several legislators in recent months about the rise of gun violence in the country, Beasley said she spoke after the news conference because "enough is enough."
"I'm going to make sure we're talking about these things," Beasley said. "These aren't sticking, and I guess an angry mom has to get up and has to say it.
"I just felt like I had to say something."
Beasley said the feelings she had following the Highland Park shooting come back up "every single time there's a mass shooting," and she understands what those affected by the shooting are feeling.
What we know about Covenant School shooting in Nashville
A heavily armed shooter killed three Nashville students and three staff members at a small, Christian elementary school early Monday, police said.
Officers engaged and killed the shooter at the private Covenant School, Nashville police spokesperson Don Aaron said. The shooter was identified as 28-year-old Audrey Hale of Nashville, Metro Nashville Police Department Chief John Drake said at a late-afternoon news conference.
Three children and two adults were taken to Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt with gunshot wounds, and all five were pronounced dead there, said Craig Boerner, spokesperson for Vanderbilt University Medical Center.
The sixth victim was not taken to the hospital, Aaron said.
Police identified the victims as Evelyn Dieckhaus, William Kinney and Hallie Scruggs, all of them age 9, and Mike Hill, 61, Katherine Koonce, 60, and Cynthia Peak, 61.
The shooter was armed with at least two "assault-type rifles" and a handgun, Aaron said. No motive has been given for the attack, but authorities describe the assault as pre-planned.
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