Seven Dead in Nashville School Shooting

Robin Wolfeden prays in front of a makeshift memorial by the entrance of the Covenant School the day after a mass shooting in Nashville, Tennessee, U.S. March 28, 2023. | Image by Mark Zaleski/USA Today Network via REUTERS

7 a.m. Tuesday

The Covenant School in Nashville released a statement about Monday’s shooting, which killed six.

One of the six victims was the daughter of a former Dallas pastor.

“Our community is heartbroken. We are grieving tremendous loss and are in shock coming out of the terror that shattered our school and church. We are focused on loving our students, our families, our faculty and staff and beginning the process of healing,” the statement said.

“Law enforcement is conducting its investigation, and while we understand there is a lot of interest and there will be a lot of discussion about and speculation surrounding what happened, we will continue to prioritize the well-being of our community.

“We appreciate the outpouring of support we have received, and we are tremendously grateful to the first responders who acted quickly to protect our students, faculty and staff.

“We ask for privacy as our community grapples with this terrible tragedy – for our students, parents, faculty and staff,” it concluded.

6 a.m. Tuesday

Nashville police released video footage Monday night, showing the suspect shooting out a glass door and walking into the Nashville private Christian school.

Audrey Hale was seen walking the hallways, carrying a rifle.

Hale shot six people in the attack, including three children and three adults.

Police confronted, shot and killed Hale about 14 minutes later.

7 p.m. Monday

Park Cities Presbyterian released a statement Monday night on Chad Scruggs, a former associate pastor at the Dallas Church. His daughter, Hallie, was killed in a Nashville private school shooting.

It said a prayer vigil will be held at noon Tuesday for the Scruggs family in the church’s sanctuary.

“The Park Cities Presbyterian Church (PCPC) family is incredibly saddened by the unimaginable tragedy today at Covenant Presbyterian School in Nashville, TN. Covenant Presbyterian Church is a sister church of PCPC; many of our members have deep friendships and family connections there.

“We love the Scruggs family and mourn with them over their precious daughter Hallie. Together, we trust in the power of Christ to draw near and give us the comfort and hope we desperately need,” the statement continued.

The church is located at 4124 Oak Lawn Ave, Dallas.

5 p.m. Monday

The daughter of a former Dallas pastor was one of the victims in Monday’s shooting in Nashville, The Dallas Express has learned.

Hallie Scruggs, 9, was the daughter of Chad Scruggs, former associate pastor at Park Cities Presbyterian Church in Dallas.

Scruggs moved to Nashville to become lead pastor at Covenant Presbyterian Church in Nashville.

4:20 p.m. Monday

Nashville police identified the shooter as Audrey Elizabeth Hale, a 28-year-old transgender man who used male pronouns.

Police initially identified Hale as a woman who was a former student at The Covenant School.

Two of the students who were killed were 9. One was 8.

The three adults killed included the school’s top administrator, a custodian and a substitute teacher.

Nashville Police Chief John Drake said at a 4:15 p.m. update that the suspect had drawings and maps of the school, indicating surveillance before the incident.

“The shooter shot through the entrance to the school,” Drake said.

The suspect did not have a record. police said.

Drake said during a search of the suspect’s home, investigators found a manifesto. They also say they will speak to Hale’s father.

The victims were:

  • Evelyn Dieckhaus
  • Hallie Scruggs
  • William Kinney
  • Cynthia Peak, 61
  • Katherine Koonce, 60
  • Mike Hill, age 61

Koonce was head of the school.

1:45 p.m. Monday

Three children and three adults died Monday in a school shooting in Nashville, police said.

Police said a 28-year-old shooter was killed by police, bringing the total dead to seven.

The Covenant School, a private Christian school, has students ranging from kindergarten to sixth grade. It is about 10 miles southwest of downtown Nashville in the Tennessee capital city’s Green Hills section.

The suspect entered the school from a first-floor side entrance around 10:13 a.m. and was carrying rifles and a handgun, a spokesperson for Metro Nashville Police Department said.

A five-member police squad confronted and killed the suspect, spokesperson Don Aaron told the media.

“When they got to the second floor and saw the shooter,” Aaron said. “By 10:27, the shooter was dead.”

Aaron said since the school was operated by a church, no Nashville police officers were stationed there. More than 200 students attend the school.

The suspect was a former student, Nashville police said in a 2 p.m. news conference. The shooter was from Nashville and lived in a home approximately 10 minutes from Covenant School.

“This could have been far, far worse,” Police Chief John Drake said.

“I was moved to tears to see this as the kids were ushered out of the building,” Drake added. “I said if this ever happened: we would not wait. We would go in and engage the person. That’s all I can say.”

The three children were rushed to a Nashville hospital, where they were pronounced dead.

“In a tragic morning, Nashville joined the dreaded, long list of communities to experience a school shooting,” Nashville Mayor John Cooper wrote in a tweet Monday afternoon.

“My heart goes out to the families of the victims. Our entire city stands with you. As facts continue to emerge, I thank our first responders and medical professionals.”

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