A 28-year-old man shot dead three children and three adult staffers on Monday at a private Christian school in Nashville, Tennessee.

The suspect was a former student of the school and was killed by the police after the assault.

Nashville Police Chief John Drake told reporters that the motive was not immediately known, but the suspect had drawn detailed maps of the school, including entry points for the building, and left behind a "manifesto" and other writings that investigators were examining.

Drake identified the suspect as Audrey Elizabeth Hale, 28, a resident of the Nashville area, and referred to the assailant by female pronouns.

The chief said the suspect identified as transgender but provided no further clarity.

Police said the suspect was armed with two assault-type guns and a 9 mm pistol.

Reacting in Washington to the latest school shooting, President Joe Biden urged the U.S. Congress again to pass tougher gun reform legislation.

According to Reuters, there have been 89 school shootings – defined as any incident in which a gun is discharged on school property – in the U.S. in 2023, according to the K-12 School Shooting Database, a website founded by researcher David Riedman.

Last year saw 303 such incidents, the highest of any year in the database, which goes back to 1970.