28th March 2023 – (Nashville) In a tragic incident, a 28-year-old former student opened fire at the Covenant School in Nashville, killing six people, including three 9-year-old students and three adults in their 60s. The shooter, identified as Audrey Hale, gained entry into the school through a side door armed with at least two assault-style rifles and a handgun.
According to Metro Nashville Police Chief John Drake, the shooter may have resented attending the school in the past. The police believe that Hale was once a student at the Covenant School, but they are unsure about the exact years. Hale had drawn detailed maps of the school, including entry points and how the shooting would take place. Police found writings that they are currently reviewing.
The first calls of an active shooting at the school came in around 10.15am local time. Police arrived and went through the first level of the building before hearing gunshots on the second level. The shooter confronted the police, who shot and killed the shooter at 10:27 am. Police found that the school was the only location targeted by the shooter.
The victims were identified as Evelyn Dieckhaus, Hallie Scruggs, and William Kinney, all 9 years old, and adults Cynthia Peak, Katherine Koonce, and Mike Hill, all in their 60s. President Joe Biden called the shooting “heartbreaking, a family’s worst nightmare,” and advocated for gun reform, saying Congress needs to pass an assault weapons ban to protect schools. Nashville Mayor John Cooper also urged the community to come together to support each other.
The Nashville shooting marks the 129th mass shooting in the US so far in 2023, according to data from the Gun Violence Archive. The Archive defines a mass shooting as one in which at least four people are shot, excluding the shooter. The Nashville shooting is a grim reminder of the urgent need for gun safety legislation in the US.
The Covenant School is a private Christian school founded in 2001 as a ministry of Covenant Presbyterian Church. The school has an average enrollment of about 200 students and teaches preschool through 6th grade. The police will spend the next two days processing the crime scene and gathering more details about the incident. The officials have interviewed the shooter’s father, and police have located where the shooter lived.