A former student opened fire on a school in the Tennessee city of Nashville, killing six people, including three children and three staff members. Three of the victims were Covenant School students who were nine years old or younger. They were identified as Evelyn Dieckhaus, Hallie Scruggs, and William Kinney by the police.
The names of the adult victims are Cynthia Peak, 61, Katherine Koonce, 60, and Mike Hill, 61. The Christian private school has approximately 200 students. It trains kids from three years old up to roughly 12.
Ms. Peak was a substitute teacher at the school on that particular day. Mr. Hill was a janitor, and Ms. Koonce is the Head of School, according to the Covenant website. The culprit was identified as transgender 28-year-old Audrey Hale, according to the police.
Hale, who was equipped with three firearms, including a semi-automatic rifle, was fatally shot by police officers. Monday at 10:13 local time (15:13 GMT), police got their first report concerning the incident.
The man drove a Honda Fit to the school and entered by shooting through one of the closed school doors. Video footage subsequently released by Nashville police shows Hale using a firearm to enter the school by smashing the front doors' glass panes, and then traversing the school's empty halls, passing a room labeled "Children's Ministry."
On the CCTV clip, Hale can be seen wearing what seems to be a protective vest and holding an assault-style rifle in one hand, with a second weapon of the same type clearly seen on his left hip. Before ascending to the second story, Hale fired rounds from the ground floor. Hale fired upon police cars as they arrived from the second floor, hitting one in the windscreen, according to police.
Broken glass caused one officer to sustain an injury. At 10:27, officers went inside and fatally shot the man. Police stated that a check of a nearby parked vehicle led them to strongly think that Hale was a previous student of the institution.
During a check of a neighboring residence reported as the shooter's address, police met with the attacker's father.
Police Chief John Drake of Nashville stated that detectives discovered a manifesto and "a plan of how everything was going to play out," including entrance and departure locations at the school.
In addition, he stated that the gunman had undertaken surveillance before the incident. Parents gathered at a neighboring church to reconnect with their children after the tragedy. According to the Tennessean, as children's buses came, they stuck their heads and hands out the windows to wave to their parents. By Monday evening, the entrance to Covenant resembled that of any other church with a school, with the exception of the monument and police presence.
Nashville Mayor John Cooper stated in a statement that the city has "joined the dreadful, long list of towns that have experienced a school shooting." President Joe Biden referred to the incident as "every family's worst nightmare."
The attack was the 129th mass shooting in the United States in 2023, according to the Gun Violence Archive. According to data provided by Education Week, there have been twelve school shootings that resulted in fatalities or injuries in the United States so far this year until the end of last week.