Three Children, Three Adults Killed in Mass Shooting at Christian School in Nashville

The 28-year-old shooter, a former student at the school, was killed by police.

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What to Know

  • A 28-year-old former student at the school opened fire inside The Covenant School.
  • The attacker was armed with two assault-style rifles and a handgun used to kill three adults and three children.
  • The shooter was killed by police officers within 15 minutes of the first 911 call.

Three children and three adults were killed in a shooting at a Nashville school Monday morning, according to police.



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The shooter was then killed by police on the second floor of the school building at The Covenant School within 15 minutes of the first 911 call. The attacker entered the school through a side door on the first floor, police said.

The shooter was a 28-year-old Nashville resident named Audrey Hale, according to NBC News. Hale was armed with two assault-style rifles and a handgun, and shot out glass doors to enter the school, according to police. Hale was a former student of the school, according to Nashville Police Chief John Drake.

The three children killed were later identified as Evelyn Dieckhaus, Hallie Scruggs, and William Kinney. They were all 9 years old.

The three adults killed were Cynthia Peak, 61, Katherine Koonce, 60, and Mike Hill, 61.

Video released Monday by Nashville Police appears to show the shooter entering and walking through the hallways of The Covenant School.

The edited surveillance video shows the shooter’s car driving up to the school from multiple angles, including one in which children can be seen playing on swings in the background. Next an interior view shows glass doors to the school being shot out and the shooter ducking through one of the shattered doors.

More footage from inside shows the shooter walking through a school corridor holding a gun with a long barrel and walking into a room labeled “church office,” then coming back out. The shooter is not seen interacting with anyone else on the video, which has no sound.

Nashville Police

The website of The Covenant School lists a Katherine Koonce as the head of the school. Her LinkedIn profile says she has led the school since July 2016. Peak was a substitute teacher and Hill was a custodian, according to investigators.

The shooter has been identified as 28-year-old Nashville resident Audrey Hale.

Drake said police were in possession of a manifesto and a map of how Hale intended the attack to unfold. He said another location was mentioned in the writings, but was not targeted in the end because of a high level of security.

The chief of police said police have been in contact with Hale's family. Authorities say the shooter was a transgender person and that police are investigating if that played a role in the motive for the shooting.

Covenant School is a private Christian school with pre-school through sixth-grade students. The school is located in the affluent Green Hills neighborhood just south of downtown Nashville.

In a statement to NBC affiliate WSMV of Nashville on Monday night, The Covenant School said it was in shock after the violence.

"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."

Officers began clearing the first story of the school when they heard gunshots coming from the second level, police spokesperson Don Aaron said during a news briefing.

Two officers from a five-member team opened fire after being engaged by the shooter, fatally shooting the suspect at 10:27 a.m., Aaron said. He said there were no police officers present or assigned to the school at the time of the shooting because it is a church-run school.

Rachel Dibble, who was at the church as families found their children, described the scene as everyone being in “complete shock.”

“People were involuntarily trembling,” said Dibble, whose children attend a different private school in Nashville. “The children … started their morning in their cute little uniforms, they probably had some Froot Loops and now their whole lives changed today.”

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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