Tragedy struck the Covenant School in Nashville, Tennessee, as six people were killed in a senseless act of violence. The victims included three children, aged between eight and nine, and three adults who worked at the school.
The three young students were identified as Evelyn Dieckhaus, Hallie Scruggs, and William Kinney. The adults were named as school head Katherine Koonce, 60, Cynthia Peak, 61, and Mike Hill, 61. All were beloved members of the school community, and their loss has left family, friends, and the wider community devastated.
The shooter responsible for this horrific act has been identified as 28-year-old Audrey Hale. Police say that Hale identified as transgender and was a former student at the school. While the motive for the attack is not yet clear, police have suggested that “resentment” may have been a factor. However, they have not provided any further details at this time.
Hale used two “assault-style” weapons and a handgun during the attack, at least two of which were purchased legally. Police say that Hale used one of these guns to destroy the doors to the school to gain entry before later shooting at police as they arrived on the scene.
In the wake of the tragedy, vigils have been held across Nashville to honour the victims and provide support to their loved ones. President Joe Biden also renewed calls for gun control legislation, highlighting the need to address the growing issue of gun violence in the country.
The Covenant School is a private Christian establishment that caters to students aged three to 11. The school has a tight-knit community, and the loss of six members has left the school reeling. Students and staff alike are struggling to come to terms with what has happened and the fact that their school is now forever changed.