Shawn Johnson East, 2008 Olympic gymnast, left 'heartbroken' after Nashville school shooting
Shawn Johnson East, a 2008 Olympic gymnast, on her Instagram account said her children's school in Nashville, Tennessee, went on lockdown after where three students and three adults died in a mass shooting Monday.
Police later killed the shooter.
"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," East wrote in the Monday posting. "Shaking. Crying. Heartbroken. Horrific."
She said her children, Drew, 3, and Jett, 1, were safe and she and her husband, Andrew East ― a former NFL player who played college ball at Nashville's Vanderbilt University ― had retrieved them from their school near Covenant, a private Christian academy in an affluent part of the city where she's lived since 2011.
NASHVILLE SCHOOL SHOOTING UPDATES: Officers Engelbert, Collazo seen in body cam video hailed as heroes
"Our babies are now home with us," she wrote. "I feel lucky and blessed but still so incredibly sad. No parent or family should ever have to deal with this."
Johnson East, who has more than 3.8 million Instagram followers, described the scene: "I've seen children, ambulances, countless police cars, buses of children being transported to safety, parents flying down the street laying on their horns, people sprinting in an out of churches and schools looking for their kids," she wrote. "Today has changed me."
She wrote that she was praying for the families whose "beautiful innocent babies" wouldn't be coming home from school, as well as the children and adults who witnessed the violence firsthand. "You don't ever fully recover from this."
She included on her Instagram story a video her husband captured while returning home with their children, saying it shows students being transported to safety.
"Helicopters are still circling," she wrote. "The silence in Nashville is very loud right now."
Now 31, Johnson East competed at the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing when she was 16. She won four medals, including gold on the balance beam.
She later competed on "Dancing With the Stars" and with her husband has launched a variety of family-oriented social media feeds, including FamilyMade, a media company that captures all things family through conversations and shareable content.
She told Huffington Post she met her husband when his brother competed in the Olympics and later attended Vanderbilt.
This article has been edited to correct which school Shawn Johnson East's children attend.
Noelle Alviz-Gransee is a breaking news reporter at the Des Moines Register. Follow her on Twitter @NoelleHannika or email her atNAlvizGransee@registermedia.com.
This article originally appeared on Des Moines Register: Nashville school shooting left Shawn Johnson East 'heartbroken'