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Evelyn Dieckhaus, Hallie Scruggs, William Kinney, Cynthia Peak, Katherine Koonce, 60, and Mike Hill identified as Nashville Christian school shooting victims

BY Anas Shah Mar 28, 2023. 03:00 am UPDATED: Mar 28, 2023. 03:10 am

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POLICE have confirmed the identities of the six victims who were gunned down at a Nashville high school on Monday by a transgender shooter.

The names of the victims at The Covenant School, half of whom were only nine years old, were released by the Metro Nashville Police Department.

Katherine Koonce

Evelyn Dieckhaus, Hallie Scruggs, and William Kinney are the nine victims.

Cynthia Peak and Mike Hill, both 61, and Katherine Koonce, 60, were also killed.

Koonce was the head of The Covenant School, according to the school’s website.

Audrey Hale, 28, has been identified as the suspected shooter.

Evelyn Dieckhaus, Hallie Scruggs, and William Kinney are among the nine victims.

Cynthia Peak and Mike Hill, both 61, and Katherine Koonce, 60, were the other victims.

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Koonce was the principal of The Covenant School, according to the school’s website.

Audrey Hale, 28, has been identified as the suspect.

Hale, a former student at the small private Christian academy, entered the elementary school through a side entrance at around 10.13 a.m. on Monday, according to Metro Nashville police.

The alleged suspect entered the school’s second floor armed with two assault-style rifles and a handgun and opened fire.

“I was literally moved to tears to see this as the kids were being ushered out of the building,” Drake said.

“It could have been far worse,” he continued.

“My heart and prayers go out to the families of the six people who were tragically injured.”

A Metro Nashville police officer suffered a non-life-threatening hand injury in the incident.

Metro Nashville officers arrived quickly and immediately heard gunshots on the second floor.

“Officers went to the gunfire. When they got to the second floor and saw the shooter, a female,” Metro Nashville police spokesperson Don Aaron said at a press conference.

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The Covenant School is a private Christian academy housed in a Presbyterian church, with approximately 209 preschool through sixth grade students enrolled.

According to school officials, the school employs between 40 and 50 people.

The shooting, according to President Joe Biden, was “heartbreaking and a family’s worst nightmare.”

“At one point she was a student at that school, but unsure what year,” he said.

Three law enforcement officials briefed on the situation identified the shooter as Audrey Hale, 28, of Nashville.

According to a police spokesperson, the shooter was killed on the second floor of the school. According to the official, she had two “assault-type rifles and a handgun.”

Evelyn Dieckhaus, Hallie Scruggs, and William Kinney were all 9 years old when they were killed, according to police. Cynthia Peak, 61, Katherine Koonce, 60, and Mike Hill, 61, were the three faculty members, according to police.

“The police department response was swift,” police spokesperson Don Aaron told reporters.

“They heard shots coming from the second level. They immediately went to the gunfire. When the officers got to the second level, they saw a shooter, a female, who was firing. The officers engaged her. She was fatally shot by responding police officers.”

Five police officers came upon the shooter, and two opened fire, Aaron said. The shooter entered the school through a “side entrance” on the first floor, he added.

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“By 10:27 the shooter was deceased,” Aaron said.

It was not clear how the shooter gained access to the school.

“There was a door that was entered. All doors were locked, to our understanding, and how exactly she got in, at this point, is still under investigation,” Drake said.

One officer was hurt by shattered glass, officials said.

The names and ages of the victims have not been released. The chief said the families of all six victims had been notified.

“Right now I will refrain from saying the ages, other than to say I was literally moved to tears to see this and the kids as they were being ushered out of the building,” Drake said.

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Shortly after police announced the shooter was dead, the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation also said “there is no current threat to public safety.”

“We were on scene to help them mitigate anyone from seeing exactly what else was going on,” fire department spokesperson Kendra Loney said. “But we’re sure they heard the chaos surrounding this.”

According to its website, the Covenant School employs 33 teachers with an 8-to-1 student-to-instructor ratio.

According to Aaron, on a typical day of class, there would be 209 students and 42 staff members on campus.

The school, which shares the same address as the church, was founded in 2001 as a ministry of Covenant Presbyterian Church.

The fire department assisted in escorting the children out of the school, attempting to keep them from witnessing the carnage.

In a statement, Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee said: “I am closely monitoring the tragic situation at Covenant. As we continue to respond, please join us in praying for the school, congregation & Nashville community.”

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The gunfire in Nashville on Monday follows multiple shootings on campuses across the country.

Read More: Who was Audrey E. Hale? Nashville mass shooting suspect

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