Nashville Faces Tragedy

By: Taylor Standring—Correspondant

The latest episode of gun violence that devastated an American community occurred on Monday, March 27, at The Covenant School in Nashville, Tennessee. 

The private school on the grounds of Covenant Presbyterian Church in Nashville’s Green Hills neighborhood holds students pre-k to 6th grade. The assailant opened fire just after 10 a.m. and took the lives of 6 people. It has been revealed that the shooter had written a “manifesto” and had been planning this attack for months. 

The suspect, Audrey Hale, was a former student at the school. Hale targeted the school and Covenant Presbyterian Church, which is attached to the school. But, it’s believed that the 6 victims were fired upon at random. “Among the victims were three 9-year-old students and three staff members”, police spokesperson Don Aaron said at a news conference on Tuesday. Authorities identified the student victims as Evelyn Dieckhaus, Hallie Scruggs and William Kinney and the adults as Cynthia Peak, Katherine Koonce, and Mike Hill.

While police are still working to determine a motive for the attack, they said in a news release that writings left behind by Hale make clear that it was calculated and planned. “The shooter had drawn a detailed map of the school, including potential entry points, and conducted surveillance of the building before carrying out the massacre,” authorities said. The papers say the assailant was “prepared for a confrontation with law enforcement” and “prepared to do more harm” before being killed, said John Drake, the Nashville police chief.

Hale’s parents claim they were unaware that their daughter had multiple guns hidden around the home. “The shooter had legally purchased seven firearms from five local gun stores and stashed them around the house, using three of them on Monday,” said Chief Drake. The three weapons included a military-style semi automatic rifle, one handgun and a small 9-mm carbine.

The shooter, who acted alone, fired 152 rounds. 126 of them 5.56 rifle rounds and 26 of them 9 mm rounds, reports stated. 

To gain access to the school, security camera footage shows the shooter firing into a pair of glass double doors at 10:13 a.m. The police arrived at the scene within just a few minutes. After following the gunshots, Officers Rex Engelbert and Michael Collazo both fired at the attacker, each discharging four rounds. They neutralized the shooter on the second floor at 10:27 a.m.

Hale was under a doctor’s care for an undisclosed emotional disorder and was not known to police before the attack, Chief Drake said at the news conference.

The school is trying to process the events that occurred that day and the losses that the community suffered. “Our community is heartbroken. We are grieving tremendous loss and are in shock coming out of the terror that shattered our school and church,” the school said in a statement.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s