A Nashville community is in mourning after a heavily armed shooter killed three children and three adults on Monday at a Christian elementary school.
The assailant, who police say was a former student at the Covenant School, entered through the building’s side door with three weapons, including an AR-style rifle, just after 10 a.m. The shooter was shot down and killed by authorities 14 minutes after the first 911 call was made, Nashville Mayor John Cooper told CBS News.
“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 Covenant School said in a statement to WZTV, a television station in Nashville. “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.”
Since the massacre, the community has gathered to grieve and held vigils for the six victims, whose names and ages were announced by the Metro Nashville Police Department. This most recent shooting marks one of 130 mass shootings in the U.S. since the start of the year, according to the Gun Violence Archive.
Here’s what we know about the victims of the Nashville school shooting.
Police say 61-year-old Mike Hill worked as a custodian at Covenant School.
“I’m just in shock and disbelief …. my heart is broken I do not understand why someone would shoot up a school with precious babies inside,” a woman who identified herself as Hill’s niece wrote on Facebook, according to NBC News.
A GoFundMe page that was started by a group of Nashville parents to raise money to cover the costs of Hill’s funeral, as well as other expenses and causes, says he was the father of eight children.
Katherine Koonce, 60, served as the Head of School at the private Christian elementary school.
She began working at the school in July 2016, after serving as an Academic Dean at Christ Presbyterian Academy, according to her LinkedIn profile.
Cynthia Peak was a 61-year-old substitute teacher for the Covenant School.
She is survived by her husband and three children.
Hallie Scruggs, 9, was the daughter of the lead pastor at the Covenant Presbyterian Church. The Covenant School was founded in 2001 as a ministry of that church.
Chad Scruggs previously served as an associate pastor at Park Cities Presbyterian Church (PCPC) in Dallas. “We love the Scruggs family and mourn with them over their precious daughter Hallie,” said PCPC Pastor Mark Davis, in a statement. “Together, we trust in the power of Christ to draw near and give us the comfort and hope we desperately need.”
A 9-year-old student at the Covenant School, Evelyn Dieckhaus was “creative” and an “absolute delight,” a family friend told The Missourian.
During a vigil Monday evening, Dieckhaus’ tearful sister reportedly said “I don’t want to be an only child.”
Also 9 years old, William Kinney was a student at the Covenant School.
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