Tragedy struck The Covenant School in Nashville on Monday, as six precious lives were lost in a senseless mass shooting. According to law enforcement officials, the perpetrator, who had been a former student at the school, meticulously planned the attack, even drawing out a detailed map and conducting surveillance of the building. The tragic details inside…
The Covenant School in Nashville was the site of a devastating tragedy on Monday, as six lives were lost in a shocking act of violence, which is the latest in a string of tragic mass shootings across the nation.
Law enforcement officials reported that the perpetrator, a former student at the school, meticulously planned the attack, even creating a detailed map and conducting surveillance of the building. The former student shot through the doors the Christian elementary school to gain entry.
Watch footage from surveillance cameras when the shooter entered the school below:
Police were called shortly after 10am CT on Monday, March 27th to an active shooter situation at the school, which is connected to a church. The shooter arrived on the school campus in her Honda Fit, with security footage capturing the vehicle driving through the parking lot to the building.
Active shooter Audrey Elizabeth Hale drove to Covenant Church/School in her Honda Fit this morning, parked, and shot her way into the building. She was armed with 2 assault-type guns and a 9 millimeter pistol. pic.twitter.com/mIk2pDmCwQ
— Metro Nashville PD (@MNPDNashville) March 28, 2023
Among the victims were three innocent 9-year-old children (Evelyn Dieckhaus, William Kinney, and Hallie Scruggs), the school’s dedicated principal (Katherine Koonce, 60), a beloved substitute teacher (Cynthia Peak, 61), and a hardworking custodian (Mike Hill, 61), all of whom were valuable members of the community.
Mike Hill, a custodian at the school, was also killed Covenant School Nashville pic.twitter.com/PKfcecHG39
— Fear God not Man (@FrantzFrantz15) March 28, 2023
Pictured below is Pastor Chad Scruggs, his wife Jada, and their four children.
Chad and Jada’s only daughter, that innocent little girl called Hallie, has gone home to Heaven after her precious life was stolen by a demonic tranny.
As the father to a little girl this same age,… pic.twitter.com/v4sZmLZdmh
— Stew Peters (@realstewpeters) March 28, 2023
Hallie Scruggs, one of three children slain in the mass school shooting in Nashville, was the 9-year-old child of Chad Scruggs, the senior pastor, Chad Scruggs, at Covenant Presbyterian Church.
Conflicting information has emerged about the identity of the shooter, who was ultimately killed by two responding officers, Rex Engelbert and Michael Collazo.
MNPD Officers Rex Engelbert, a 4-year veteran, and Michael Collazo, a 9-year veteran, were part of a team of first responders to the Covenant campus Mon morning. They fired on the active shooter, who was killed. This is their body camera footage. https://t.co/17qsZM6bNp pic.twitter.com/g4b0nMTFRD
— Metro Nashville PD (@MNPDNashville) March 28, 2023
Initially, police identified the perpetrator as a 28-year-old woman named Audrey Hale. However, at a press conference later in the day, the police chief revealed that Hale was transgender, causing further confusion and speculation. Despite persistent inquiries, police spokesperson Don Aaron remained tight-lipped about how Hale identified at the time of the shooting.
BREAKING: Audrey E. Hale, the 28-year-old woman who identifies as he/him and uses the name “Aiden,” is identified as the now-deceased suspect who shot up a Christian school in Tennessee, killing 6, including 3 children. The killings follow the state banning the medical… pic.twitter.com/Sp4RfGwcUj
— Andy Ngô (@MrAndyNgo) March 27, 2023
According to authorities, the shooter was heavily armed, wielding two “assault-style” weapons and a handgun during the attack. Shockingly, at least two of these weapons were believed to have been obtained legally in the Nashville area, as police Chief John Drake confirmed.
The search of the shooter’s home following the incident revealed even more disturbing evidence. In addition to the weapons used in the attack, police found a sawed-off shotgun, a second shotgun, and other items that have not been specified. The discovery of these weapons and evidence suggest that the shooter had planned the attack in advance and had access to a disturbing amount of firepower.
The Metro Nashville Police Department has released riveting footage from body-worn cameras worn by two officers who responded to the devastating shooting. The videos, captured by officers Rex Engelbert and Michael Collazo, show the chaotic scene as the officers raced inside the building to locate the shooter amid blaring fire alarms. The brave officers immediately entered several rooms in search of the attacker, but soon heard gunfire coming from the second floor.
With adrenaline pumping, the officers quickly ascended the stairs as the gunshots grew louder. The footage then shows Engelbert, equipped with an assault-style rifle, rounding a corner and firing multiple rounds at a figure near a large window, who then falls to the ground. The footage offers a chilling glimpse into the harrowing events that unfolded at the school and underscores the bravery and heroism of the responding officers.
Watch clips from the bodycam footage below:
In a haunting account, a pediatric surgeon shared a photo of herself engaging with young students at The Covenant School in Nashville, moments before the tragic shooting that claimed the lives of six individuals.
The surgeon, Dr. Britney Grayson, took to Twitter to express her grief, saying that she left the school at 10:12 am, only to learn that less than 20 minutes later, children were shot on campus. Bodycam footage later revealed that shooter Audrey Hale entered the school after 10 a.m. and opened fire, before being fatally shot by police at 10:27.
Just 4 hours ago, we arrived The Covenant School in Nashville. Our dear friends invited us to speak at Chapel and stay and visit their girls’ classrooms, pictured below. The kids were great. We taught them about life in Kenya and what it means to be a missionary. pic.twitter.com/FXbZUr4GiP
— Britney Grayson, MD, PhD (@britneygrayson) March 27, 2023
“There are no words for this feeling,” Grayson said, admitting that she felt “guilty” for being safe knowing that she was medically qualified to help the victims.
“I have personally operated on a school shooting victim. I have told too many parents and family members that their loved ones are dead as a result of gun violence. ENOUGH IS ENOUGH,” she continued. “We must ACT- this is a public health crisis!”
According to authorities, Hale had a complicated history with the school, and police chief John Drake revealed that detectives believe her motive for the shooting was tied to “resentment for having to go to that school.”
Chief Drake revealed that Hale had gone to elaborate lengths to plan and execute the shooting, with a detailed manifesto and booklet outlining her intentions. The booklet included maps of the school, showing the entry points she planned to use, as well as diagrams of the weapons and clothing she intended to use in the attack. The level of detail was striking, with Drake noting that Hale had even drawn herself as a cartoon character in the plan. All of this suggests that the shooting was not a random act of violence, but rather a targeted and premeditated attack.
Watch his press conference below:
Police identified the shooter in the Covenant School attack as 28-year-old Audrey Hale. Nashville Chief of Police John Drake said investigators discovered maps detailing entry points into the school. More: https://t.co/SK1HNM01Im pic.twitter.com/TOVDH1Lnvh
— NewsNation (@NewsNation) March 27, 2023
Chief Drake spoke to ABC News to share more details about the shooting, which you can check out below:
Ashbey Beasley, a survivor of the July 4, 2022, mass shooting in Highland Park, Illinois, took over a police briefing to ask a pointed question of the reporters: “Aren’t you guys tired of covering this? Aren’t you guys tired of being here and having to cover all of these mass shootings?
Watch the powerful clip below:
wow. a woman makes a passionate case for gun control during a press conference about the Nashville school shooting pic.twitter.com/tQDdSrBZZ6
— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) March 27, 2023
President Joe Biden addressed the horrific shooting, calling it a “family’s worst nightmare” and urging Congress to take action by passing a ban on certain semi-automatic weapons.
”This tragedy is ripping at the soul of our nation, ripping at the very soul of our nation,” POTUS stated at the White House.
Watch his response below:
Following his remarks, the president issued an order for the U.S. flag to be flown at half-staff on all federal buildings until March 31st in honor of the victims. Biden also spoke to Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee and Nashville Mayor John Cooper about the shooting, according to officials.
Award winning actress Niecy Nash took to social media to blast U.S. representative for Tennessee’s 5th congressional district, Rep. Andy Ogles.
“Yes, that’s real,” she wrote. “That’s the United States Congressman, @RepAndyOgles – that actually represents Nashville, Tennessee – where 6 little kids and teachers were just slaughtered by assault rifles.”
“The shooter literally used an assault rifle to blast through locked doors. That we live in a country where people pose with assault rifles on their public greeting cards to celebrate the birth of Jesus, who was called the Prince of Peace, is astounding.”
“Other countries look at us with utter confusion and bewilderment because it’s clear that it’s actually GUNS that are worshipped and adored here, not God, not family, not kids.”
“For the first time in American history guns are now the leading cause of death for American children. It’s an abomination. And the only other countries that share that fact with us are nations experiencing violent civil wars. #rp @shaunking I’m tired of being tired.”
Our hearts and thoughts are with the families of the victims during this tragic time, and we join in praying for their comfort and strength.
Photo: AP Photo/John Bazemore/Metro Nashville PD