Victims, Shooter Identified in Nashville School Shooting

March 27, 2023

Police have released the identities of the three children and three adults who were killed in Monday’s mass shooting at The Covenant School in Nashville along with the shooter.

During a late-afternoon news conference, Metropolitan Nashville Police said the victims included children Evelyn Dieckhaus, Hallie Scruggs and William Kinney. According to police, two of them were 9-year-olds and one “was 8, about to be 9.” The three adults killed in the massacre were Cynthia Peak, 61, Katherine Koonce, 60, and Mike Hill, 61, all of whom were identified as school staff members. 

Police identified the shooter as 28-year-old Audrey Hale, a “lone assailant,” who lived in the Nashville area, was a former student at the school, and identifies as transgender. When asked whether her gender identity entered into her motive, police replied that there may be “some theory to that,” but that they were “investigating all the leads.” 

Authorities had also determined that Hale had specifically targeted the school, and had maps drawn of the school, including entry points.

The Covenant School is a private Christian school for kids pre-K through 6th grade.

Metropolitan Nashville Police got the first call about the shooting at 10:13am Central Time, and “by 10:27, the shooter was deceased” after engaging police, the police department’s Don Aaron had said at a mid-day news conference. 

President Biden remarked on the shooting ahead of a planned event at the White House, calling it “heartbreaking” and “sick.” 

Noting that police had stated that the shooter was armed with two assault weapons, Biden further said, “I called on Congress again to pass my assault weapons ban. It’s about time that we began to make some more progress.”

Kendra Loney of the Nashville Fire Department said mental health specialists were being made available for students, family and staff “who are going to be affected by this today.” 

An FBI investigation found that men were behind 98% of all active shooter incidents in 2021 and that out of 250 active shooter incidents between 2000 and 2018, only nine involved women.

This was the 128th mass shooting in the U.S. so far this year and the third mass shooting to take the lives of elementary school children. On May 24 a mass shooter at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas killed 19 fourth graders and two teachers. That was the second deadliest elementary school shooting in U.S. history, after the 2012 massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary in Newtown, Connecticut, when a gunman slaughtered 20 first graders and six adults.

PHOTO: @MNPDNashville

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