GOP reps ask for Nashville shooting to be classified a hate crime

·1 min read

A pair of Republican representatives have sent a letter to Attorney General Merrick Garland, requesting that the suspect in the Nashville school shooting be charged with hate crimes.

Three students and three staff were killed at Covenant Christian School in Nashville on Wednesday. The shooter was also killed by police.

Reps. Andy Ogles (R-Tenn.) and Lance Gooden (R-Texas) believe that the shooter targeted the Covenant Christian School, which is part of a church building, because it is a religious institution.

“The plain text of federal law makes clear that an act of violence against any person based on a number of factors, including their religion, is a hate crime,” Ogles said in a statement. “This type of violence is indefensible, unjustifiable, and grotesque. The anti-conservative rhetoric and constant attacks on Christianity by the radical Left have led to the violent murders of three children and three adults.”

Investigators are still unclear on the shooter’s motive, according to public statements by Nashville police.

“This school — this church building — was a target of the shooter,” Nashville police spokesperson Don Aaron said. “But we have no information at present to indicate that the shooter was targeting any one of the six individuals who were murdered.”

Sens. Josh Hawley (R-Mo.) and John Kennedy (R-La.) have also requested that the shooting be considered a hate crime. Hawley introduced a measure on the Senate floor this week asking his colleagues to condemn it as such.

Nashville police and the FBI are analyzing a manifesto the shooter prepared. It is known that the shooter was a former student of the school.

“As of now, motive hasn’t been identified,” Garland said earlier this week.

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