Victims Identified After Shooter Kills 3 Children, 3 Adults at Private Nashville Christian School

Nashville Students
Students from The Covenant School, where three children were killed, arriving at a church Monday to be reunited with their parents.Getty

The victims have been identified after three children and three adults were shot to death at a private, Christian elementary school in Nashville when a shooter opened fire, authorities said Monday. The shooter has also been identified.

Three children and three adults killed by a shooter at a private Christian school were identified late Monday by Nashville police.

The six victims are: Evelyn Dieckhaus, Hallie Scruggs, and William Kinney, all aged 9, Cynthia Peak, 61, Katherine Koonce, 60, and Mike Hill, 61, authorities said. The youngsters were all students at The Covenant School, a private elementary academy. The adults were staff members, police said. A police officer was injured by shattering glass, but there were no other injuries or fatalities, authorities said.

Authorities received an active shooter call 10:13 a.m. from the school, located on the grounds of Covenant Presbyterian Church, officials said.

The shooter was armed with two assault rifles and a handgun and was killed by responding police, officials said.

Police identified the shooter as 28-year-old Audrey Hale of Nashville, who previously attended the private school.

Metropolitan Nashville Police Chief John Drake told reporters he was unsure when she attended The Covenant School. “But that’s what I’ve been told so far,” he said. Hale identified as transgender, the chief added. 

The private school serves pre-school children and kindergarten through sixth grade. About 200 children attend the institution.

The shooter entered through a side entrance and was killed on the second floor by officers who heard gunshots as they approached, authorities said.

Three children with gunshot wounds were rushed to Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt University Medical Center and pronounced dead, according to officials. Three staff members were also shot and killed, police said. 

"We just learned about another shooting in Tennessee. A school shooting. And I am truly without words. Our children deserve better. And we stand, all of us, we stand with Nashville in prayer," said first lady Jill Biden.

President Joe Biden called the killings  "sick" and "heartbreaking." The latest school shooting immediately reopened the seemingly endless political rhetoric over how to best protect schools from an epidemic of shooters rampaging campuses. 

Biden again called on Congress to pass his assault weapons ban. “It’s heartbreaking, a family’s worst nightmare,” he said.

Republican leaders again said arming teachers and administrators would curb the violence.

Monday's violence came as the country struggles with a series of school shootings, including last year's massacre at an elementary school in Uvalde, Texas, a first-grader who shot his teacher in Virginia and a shooting last week in Denver that wounded two administrators.

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