6 Dead from Nashville Christian School Shooting




Iyad Anbar, Staff Writer

In a small, private Christian school, just south of downtown Nashville, on Monday, March 27, six individuals were killed when a shooter opened fire inside the building that contained 200 students. 

At around 10:15 a.m., police received a call about an active shooter at a Presbyterian school called The Covenant School. Authorities stated that about 15 minutes after the call was made, the shooter was claimed dead. The remaining students were reunited with their parents after being ferried to a safe location.

How many individuals were killed? 

According to Nashville Police, six people, including three students, were shot dead by the shooter. The identified victims included Katherine Koonce, 60; Cynthia Peak, 61; Mike Hill, 61; and Evelyn Dieckhaus, Hallie Scruggs, and William Kinney, all ages 9. The shooter was also killed by police.

Katherine Koonce is listed as the head of the school on the website of The Covenant School, founded in 2001. Koonce’s LinkedIn profile stated that she had led the school since July 2016. Hill was a custodian at the school and Peak was a substitute, according to authorities.


What is known about the Nashville Shooter?

Unclear information was given by authorities on the shooter’s gender.

police identified the shooter as a 28-year-old woman for hours and later as Audrey Hale. At a press conference in the late afternoon, the police chief stated that Hale was transgender. Police spokesperson Don Aaron declined to elaborate on how Hale was identified after the news conference.

According to authorities, Hale was a former student of the school. However, it was unclear if Hale was related to anyone in the school at the time of the shooting or had any current affiliation with the school. The shooter had created a detailed map of the school and conducted surveillance of the building before carrying out the horrific massacre in the school.

Police stated that Hale had two “assault-style” weapons and a pistol when Hale shot through the front door to go into the school. At least two of the weapons were believed to have been retrieved legally in the Nashville area. During a search of Hale’s home, investigators found a sawed-off shotgun, a second shotgun, and more unspecified evidence.

How did the police kill the shooter?

Aaron, the police spokesperson, stated that “A team of five Nashville police officers entered the school after the initial call.”While clearing the first floor of students and staff, they heard shots being fired on the second floor. Police said in response to the call, two officers opened fire at about 10:27 a.m. and fatally struck Hale.


What was the motive of the shooter?

Shortly after Hale was killed, investigators were sent to the shooter’s home. Officers found writings and noticed that Hale had a map of the school with a planned route for the shooting.

There has been no motive confirmed by the police. It was also extremely unclear if Hale was trying to target any particular individual during the shooting.

John Drake, the Police Chief, said officers found writings that detailed the plan to shoot people in the school and potentially other locations. In an interview with NBC News that he stated investigators believe the shooter had “some resentment for having to go to that school.”