Three children, 3 adults fatally shot armed by intruder at Nashville religious school; names of shooter, victims released

Photo: Metro Nashville Police

NASHVILLE, March 27, 2023 (Gephardt Daily) — A young female shooter is dead after Nashville police say she entered a religious school and fatally shot three children and three adults before responding officers shot her.

The Metro Nashville Police Department later shared the names of the victims. Those who died were Evelyn Dieckhaus, Hallie Scruggs, and William Kinney, all age 9; and Cynthia Peak, age 61, Katherine Koonce, age 60, and Mike Hill, age 61.

The incident took place at the Covenant Presbyterian Church in a school that serves children from preschool age through sixth grade.

Don Aaron, Metro Nashville Police Department, initially said at a news conference that the shooter appeared to be in her teens, but her name and age were later revealed as Audrey Hale, 28. Hale is believed to be a former student at the school.

Metro¬†Nashville Police Chief John Drake said Hale seems to have no previous criminal record. A “manifesto” and a map of the school grounds showing entrances were found at her home, he said.

Hale was armed with at least two assault-type rifles and a handgun, according to an earlier police statement. Two responding officers shot the shooter, ending the mass assault.

Students are being reunited with their parents at a different Presbyterian church location, the police statement says.

Aaron said a police officer’s hand was injured by cut glass.

“I am closely monitoring the tragic situation at Covenant and the (Tennessee Department of Safety and Tennessee Highway Patrol) are assisting local law enforcement and first responders at the scene,” said Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee on Twitter. “As we continue to respond, please join us in praying for the school, congregation and Nashville community.”

Gephardt Daily will have more information as details become available.

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