Nashville school shooting victims: Officials identify three children and three adults left dead in massive gunfire

Three students and three members of staff were killed in the shooting (image via Mark Zaleski/The Associated Press)
Three students and three members of staff were killed in the shooting (image via Mark Zaleski/The Associated Press)

Audrey Hale, a 28-year-old graphic designer, opened fire at The Covenant School in Nashville, killing three children and three adults before being shot and killed by responding officers. Hale is a former student at the private Christian school, and authorities have stated that the reason behind the shooting hasn't been confirmed.

Trigger warning: This article contains mentions of gun violence and mass shooting that may not be suitable for all readers. Discretion is advised.

Disclaimer: There is still some confusion about the gender identity of the shooter who will be referred to with they/them pronouns throughout this piece.

The minor victims of the mass shooting have been identified as 9-year-old students Evelyn Dieckhaus, Hallie Scruggs, and William Kinney. Meanwhile, the adult victims have been identified as 61-year-old substitute teacher Cynthia Peak, 61-year-old custodian Mike Hill, and 60-year-old school head Katherine Koonce.

According to Nashville authorities, Audrey Hale was a transgender person who transitioned later in life. The shooter, according to their LinkedIn profile, used the "He/Him" pronouns.

Authorities speculate that the suspect may have targeted the Christian school because the institution's values were likely at odds with their identity.

Authorities believe that Nashville Covenant School shooter carefully planned the attack

According to Nashville police, the shooting began after 10 am when Audrey Hale entered the school armed with two assault rifles and a pistol. The suspect shot through the glass doors of the school before walking through the halls and fatally gunning down six people. The victims are believed to have been randomly targeted.

As per CNN, Hale fired several rounds on the ground floor before moving to the second floor of the building. Around this time, officers rushed to the scene and fatally shot Hale on the second floor at 10:27 am.

After Hale was killed, officers searched their home and even spoke to the suspect's father. Upon searching the home, they discovered several maps and manifestos, leading them to believe that the suspect had systematically planned the attack. ABC reported that according to authorities, Hale had brought several rounds and most likely intended to kill several other students and teachers.

In the aftermath of the shooting, students were escorted out of the school building by faculty and staff. The parents reunited with the students of the Covenant school at a nearby church.

In an official statement, Davidson County District Attorney General Glenn Funk condemned the suspect for attacking the children of the community. Funk said that it was the ultimate crime when school kids and caregivers were the victims of "senseless gun violence."

As per the Gun Violence Archive, there have been 128 prior mass shootings in the US since January 2023. In an official statement, President Joe Biden blamed it on America's lax gun laws and said that they need to do more to stop gun violence.

Bed said that such acts of violence were ripping the community and the soul of the nation apart. He added that they needed to do more to protect the schools so they don't turn into prisons.

The mass shooting currently remains under investigation by Nashville authorities.

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Edited by Madhur Dave