Shawn Johnson expressed her devastation while hugging her children in the wake of the Nashville elementary school shooting that killed three students and three adults.
“I haven’t been able to catch my breath since reading the news and getting a call from our school that they were on lockdown as well given the news,” the 31-year-old Olympic gymnast — who shares 3-year-old daughter Drew and 20-month-old son Jett with husband Andrew East — wrote via her Instagram Story on Monday, March 27. “Shaking. Crying. Heartbroken. Horrific.”
The gold medalist, who also shared her husband’s footage of Covenant School students being led to safety, added: “Our babies are now home with us. I feel lucky and blessed but still so incredibly sad. No parent or family should ever have to deal with this.”
Johnson detailed what she witnessed in Nashville as news of the shooting broke Tuesday afternoon.
“I’ve seen children’s ambulances, countless police cars, buses of children being transported to safety, parents flying down the street laying on their horns, people sprinting in and out of churches and schools looking for their kids.”
She concluded her message: “Today has changed me.”
The athlete also shared several photos of her embracing her children in the wake of the school shooting. “When Andrew got our babies home,” she captioned one picture holding both of her kids.
East, 31, revealed that the couple — who tied the knot in 2016 — were “notified of an active shooter in our neighborhood this morning.” Immediately, the pair “rushed to school to pick up the kids,” he wrote via Instagram, alongside footage of Johnson crying and holding their kids. “We found out the shooter was not at our kids school, but one right in the vicinity. Our family is safe, but can’t imagine what some other families are going through.”
The former football star received a mixed reaction in the comments of his post, with many urging him and Johnson to use their fame to speak out about gun control.
“Use your platform to start advocating for gun control,” one follower wrote. “Your babies are so lucky to be safe today but that could change tomorrow or any other day ahead.” Another shared: “Use your platform to advocate for changing gun laws in TN.” A third user commented, “It would be SO great to see you use your platform to encourage gun reform. It is only a matter of time until all of our children encounter gun violence. SCHOOLS SHOULD BE SAFE!”
Per NBC News, six people were fatally shot at Nashville’s Covenant School on Tuesday. The shooter, who was also killed, was reportedly a 28-year-old transgender woman who attended the school as a child. According to the news site, officials stated that the perpetrator — who was armed with two AR-15 style rifles and a handgun — devised the attack with detailed maps and “prepared to do more harm,” per Nashville Police Chief John Drake.
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