Nashville police have identified the six people, three young children and three adults, who were killed in a shooting at a Christian school Monday as Evelyn Dieckhaus, William Kinney, and Hallie Scruggs, all age 9, as well as Mike Hill, 61, Cynthia Peak, 61, and Katherine Koonce, 60.
The victims were shot and killed when Audrey Elizabeth Hale, a 28-year-old transgender former student of The Covenant School, entered the premises with two “assault-type rifles” and a handgun and began firing, police said.
The shooter was killed by responding Metropolitan Nashville Police Officers Rex Englebert and Michael Collazo.
Numerous local churches held prayer vigils Monday evening and several more are scheduled in the coming days to pay respects to the victims and offer the community’s support for their families, according to local FOX affiliate WZTV.
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“My heart goes out to the families of the victims,” said Mayor John Cooper. “Our entire city stands with you.”
The following is what is known about the victims.
Evelyn Dieckhaus, 9, was a third grader at The Covenant School.
Her older sister, a fifth grader, spoke at a vigil for the victims held Monday night at Woodmont Christian Church, where the family attends worship services.
Evelyn’s sister cried as she said, “I don’t want to be an only child,” according to The Tennessean.
“One of the 9-year-old victims of the Nashville school shooting goes to my church,” Woodmont church member Sarah Drury wrote on Facebook. “Her name is Evelyn Dieckhaus. She was adorable. I taught her equally angelic big sister in Sunday school.”
“Her mom Katy volunteered in our children’s ministry… such a sweet Christian family,” Drury continued. “We had a prayer vigil tonight at our church. We are, the whole city, saturated in grief. Now. It’s time to marry prayer and grief with action.”
“It has been a hard day,” Woodmont Baptist Church senior pastor Nathan Parker said. “We are sad. Sad for the families who came rushing to our church. Sad for those whose lives will never be the same because of the trauma inflicted on them. Sad because we live in a world broken by sin, suffering and death.”
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William Kinney was a 9-year-old student at The Covenant School.
Hallie Scruggs was the 9-year-old daughter of Chad Scruggs, the senior pastor at Covenant Presbyterian Church, the pastor told local news station WKRN.
“We are heartbroken. She was such a gift. Through tears we trust that she is in the arms of Jesus who will raise her to life once again,” the girl’s father said.
The Covenant School operates as a ministry of Nashville’s Covenant Presbyterian Church.
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Dr. Katherine Koonce, 60, was the head of The Covenant School.
Cynthia Peak, 61, was a substitute teacher at the school.
Michael Hill, 61, was a custodian at the school, according to police.
This is a developing story and will be updated.
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