Shooter kills six victims in Nashville elementary school

By Molly Hulligan, Head Copy Editor

Three children and three adults were killed in a shooting at a private Christian elementary school in Nashville on Monday. The shooter was killed in an altercation with the police while still inside the school.

The three student victims, all nine years old, have been identified as Evelyn Dieckhaus, Hallie Scruggs and William Kinney. The three adults were Cynthia Peak, a 61-year-old substitute teacher; Mike Hill, a 61-year-old custodian at the school and Dr. Katherine Koonce, a 60-year-old school administrator. 

The shooter, 28-year-old Audrey E. Hale, was a former student at the elementary school. Hale did not target specific victims, but she did target The Covenant School intentionally, according to police spokesperson Don Aaron. 

Authorities received the first call of an active shooter at 10:13 a.m. local time and were on the scene minutes later. Hale was shot and killed by Officers Rex Engelbert and Michael Collazo at 10:27 a.m., just 14 minutes after the first emergency call.

Hale, who had been receiving treatment for an emotional disorder, legally purchased seven firearms, three of which were used in Monday’s shooting, Metropolitan Nashville Police Chief John Drake said in a news conference. 

In response to the shooting, President Joe Biden made a statement pleading with Congress to reinstate the assault weapons ban he helped pass in 1994 that lapsed in 2004.  

“I have gone the full extent of my executive authority to do, on my own, anything about guns,” Biden said. “I can’t do anything except plead with the Congress to act reasonably.” 

“How many more children have to be murdered before Republicans in Congress will step up and act to pass the assault weapons ban?” White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre asked.

According to the Gun Violence Archive, the U.S. has had 130 mass shootings in 2023 so far.