Tragedy at the Covenant School: 6 Dead in Nashville Shooting
On Monday, August 9th, a shooting at the Covenant School in Nashville left three children and three adult staff members dead. The suspected shooter, 28-year-old Audrey Hale, was fatally shot by officers who responded to the scene. The victims were identified as Evelyn Dieckhaus, 9; Mike Hill, 61; William Kinney, 9; Katherine Koonce, 60; Cynthia Peak, 61; and Hallie Scruggs, 9.
The Covenant School released a statement expressing their grief and shock at the tragedy, and focusing on supporting their students, families, faculty, and staff through the healing process. The school is a private Christian school that serves around 200 students from preschool through sixth grade.
Body camera footage from the officers who responded to the shooting was released by the Metro Nashville Police Department. The footage shows Hale entering the school with assault-style weapons and firing at glass doors to gain entry.
The motive for the shooting is still unknown, but some conservatives have blamed it on the suspect's gender identity. The shooter appeared to have carefully planned the attack with detailed maps and surveillance.
President Joe Biden, who has taken executive action on gun safety, signed into law last year the first major gun safety legislation passed by Congress in roughly three decades. A fortnight ago, Biden put his signature on an executive order with the objective of boosting the quantity of background checks carried out prior to firearms transactions.
The community has been left shattered by the tragedy, and those who knew the victims have expressed their grief and sorrow. Mike Hill, the school's custodian, had worked at the Covenant School for more than 13 years and was beloved by the students and staff. Cynthia Peak was a substitute teacher at the school, and Hallie Scruggs was the daughter of the church's lead pastor.
Police Chief John Drake spoke to President Biden and said that the responding officers were trying to decompress and make sense of the tragedy. The school and community are focused on healing and supporting one another through this difficult time.
0. “Nashville school shooting: What to know about the 6 victims” ABC News, 27 Mar. 2023, https://abcnews.go.com/US/nashville-school-shooting-victims/story?id=98161083
1. “Biden renews call for congressional action on guns” The Washington Post, 29 Mar. 2023, https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/2023/03/28/biden-guns-nashville/
2. “Victims of Nashville school shooting: Young children, the head of their school and its custodian” WCVB Boston, 28 Mar. 2023, https://www.wcvb.com/article/nashville-school-shooting-victims/43441255
3. “MNPD: 3 students, 2 adults and shooter dead after shooting at Covenant School” WSMV 4, 27 Mar. 2023, https://www.wsmv.com/2023/03/27/mnpd-3-students-shooter-dead-after-shooting-covenant-school/
4. “BODYCAM VIDEO: Moment Nashville Police encounter elementary school mass shooter” WZTV, 28 Mar. 2023, https://fox17.com/news/local/nashville-tennessee-middle-tennessee-gun-violence-mass-shooting-body-cam-video-metro-police-release-video-of-moments-officers-encountered-mass-shooter-davidson-county-local-news
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6. “Nashville police release surveillance footage showing the shooter entering the school” Yahoo Entertainment, 28 Mar. 2023, https://www.yahoo.com/entertainment/nashville-police-release-surveillance-footage-124336773.html
7. “White House raises pressure on GOP lawmakers to take action on guns” The Hill, 28 Mar. 2023, https://thehill.com/homenews/administration/3922702-white-house-raises-pressure-on-gop-lawmakers-to-take-action-on-guns/
8. “Here's what we know on Day 2 during The Covenant School shooting aftermath” News Channel 5 Nashville, 28 Mar. 2023, https://www.newschannel5.com/news/heres-what-we-know-on-day-2-during-the-covenant-school-shooting-aftermath