3 Children, 3 Adults Killed in Nashville School Shooting
The shooter, a 28-year-old former Covenant School student, was killed by responding officers.
LAST UPDATED 3/28
NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Three children and three adults were shot and killed at a private Christian school in Nashville. The suspected shooter is also dead.
The shooting happened just before 10:30 a.m. Monday morning at The Covenant School, which serves around 200 students from preschool through sixth grade, reports Reuters. Three children were pronounced dead after arriving at Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt, said spokesperson John Howser. The hospital later confirmed three adults died.
The three students who died have been identified as Evelyn Dieckhaus, 9, Hallie Scruggs, 9, and William Kinney, 9. The adult victims are substitute teacher Cynthia Peak, 61; school head Katherine Koonce, 60; and custodian Mike Hill, 61, reports NBC News.
The shooter, originally described as a 28-year-old Nashville woman, was later identified as Audrey Hale, a transgender man who went by the name Aiden.
Authorities said as the first five Metropolitan Nashville Police officers arrived, the shooter, who was once a student at the school, fired at their vehicles through a second-floor window. Two officers then entered the building and opened fire, killing Hale, who was reportedly carrying two assault-type rifles and a handgun, according to Fox News.
Police first received calls about a shooting at 10:13 a.m. and the suspect was deceased by 10:27 a.m. Special agents from the FBI and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives responded to the scene of the shooting and are assisting local first responders.
Metro Fire spokesperson Kendra Loney said firefighters helped escort children out of the school. Students and staff were bussed to nearby Woodmont Baptist Church where they were reunited with family. Mental health specialists and professionals were made available.
Killer Shot Through Glass of Locked Door, Had Manifesto
MNPD spokesperson Don Aaron said the killer entered the building by shooting out the glass of a locked door on the first floor.
A detailed map of Covenant School was in the shooter’s manifesto, which was discovered by police after the attack. The manifesto included surveillance and access points of the building. The shooter also targeted another location but chose not to attack the second target because of security at that location, reports Newsweek.
At 9:57 a.m., Hale sent an Instagram message to childhood teammate Averianna Patton, stating he planned to die by suicide and it would be on the news.
“One day this will make more sense,” Hale wrote. “I’ve left behind more than enough evidence behind. But something bad is about to happen.”
Patton told WTVF she “tried to comfort and encourage [Hale] and subsequently reached out to the Suicide Prevention Help Line after being instructed to by my father at 10:08 a.m.” She also called the Nashville Davidson County Sheriff’s Office at 10:13 a.m. — the exact time police received the first call of an active shooter — and was told to call Nashville’s non-emergency number.
Patton said she called the non-emergency line at 10:14 a.m. but was on hold for seven minutes before speaking with someone who said they would send an officer to her home. Patton said an officer did not come to her residence until 3:29 p.m.
According to the K-12 School Shooting Database, this incident is the 89th shooting on school grounds in 2023. The attack was the 19th shooting at a U.S. school or university in 2023 in which at least one person was wounded, CNN reports.
We will provide more updates as they become available.
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