Shooting at The Covenant School in Nashville kills six

Six victims were claimed on March 27 at a private Presbyterian Church after an assailant entered the school with multiple weapons.

Since the beginning of the year, there have been 130 mass shootings, and of those shootings, 417 childrens’ lives have been claimed by gun violence.

28-year-old Audrey Hale was identified as the shooter, a former student who did not target specific victims, but rather the school itself. Hale was under the supervision of a doctor for an undisclosed emotional disorder and was not considered a threat to the public according to local police.

Hale was armed with two assault-style weapons and a handgun. He gained entry into the school by shooting into glass doors, shattering them. After a search of the assailant’s home, police disclosed that they found a sawed-off shotgun, a second shotgun and other unspecified items.

The shooter was a transgender man using he/him pronouns, and in reports about how the assailant was when he was younger, Hale was always a kind of quiet person but was very serious about his work.

Hale had no direct plan on how he would complete this attack, but police said in an interview he had a manifesto, writings on how to complete the shooting and detailed maps of the interior of the school with marked entry points.

There were six victims of this shooting, three students: Evelyn Dieckhaus, Hallie Scruggs and William Kinney, all 9 years old. Three adults were also victims of the shooting: Katherine Koonce, 60; Cynthia Peak, 61 and Mike Hill, 61. Koonce was the head of the school, Peak a substitute teacher and Hill a custodian, according to investigators.

After the shooting, students were reported to have been seen holding hands as they walked to school buses, which took them to a nearby church for a reunion with their parents.

Unlike shootings of the past, the police response at the Woodmont Church was immediate, with time stamps showing that police received a call at 10:13 A.M., and were on the grounds of the school only 9 minutes later. At roughly 10:24, two minutes after getting onto the grounds of the school, officers Rex Engelbert and Michael Collazo were part of the team that directly took down the shooter.

Hale took shots at the team of approaching officers which included Engelbert and Collazo. After engaging with the shooter, Engelbert and Collazo collectively shot and killed Hale after receiving fire from the second-floor windows.

In the investigation, Hale’s Honda Fit was driven and parked on the grounds of the school, and police identified the materials which included the detailed map and manifesto inside the vehicle.

On the heels of this shooting, President Biden called for immediate change, and to pass the assault weapons ban, saying, “It’s about time that we begin to make some progress.” This previous summer, Congress passed a bipartisan bill that bolstered background checks for gun buyers under the age of 21, while simultaneously pumping federal money into states to put Red Flag laws in place.

President Biden issued a proclamation in remembrance of those lost in the shooting on Monday, ordering flags at the White House, public buildings and all military stations to be at half-staff until Friday at sunset.

Post Author: Alex Soeder