- The Washington Times - Wednesday, March 29, 2023

First lady Jill Biden is traveling to Tennessee on Wednesday to attend a candlelight vigil honoring those killed in the mass shooting at a private Christian school in Nashville, the White House has announced.

Mrs. Biden‘s visit will mark the White House’s first in-person outreach to the community grieving from Monday’s shooting, in which three 9-year-old students and three staff members at The Covenant School were killed. Police shot and killed the shooter, Nashville resident Audrey Hale.

“Following her visit to Ohio today to meet with military families, the first lady will travel to Nashville, Tennessee to join a candlelight vigil this evening to honor and mourn the lives of the victims of The Covenant School shooting,” White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre told reporters.

President Biden said on Tuesday that he had spoken with local officials following the shooting but had not yet spoken with the victims’ families.

Mrs. Biden said she was “truly without words” on Monday after the tragedy.

“Our children deserve better,” she said. “And we stand — all of us — we stand with Nashville in prayer.”

Police said Hale, 28, was a transgender person who had a “manifesto” at home and had drawn a detailed map of the school. Hale, a biological female who identified as “he/him,” was a former student at the school.

Ms. Jean-Pierre said on Wednesday that President Biden continues to call on Congress to pass an assault weapons ban “and take additional actions to make our kids and communities safer.”

• Joseph Clark can be reached at jclark@washingtontimes.com.

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