NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) — Just before 10:15 a.m., six people, including three children, were killed at The Covenant School, part of Covenant Presbyterian Church in the Green Hills area of Nashville.
Those gunned down include three 9-year-olds and the headmaster of the school.
According to Metro Nashville Police, Evelyn Dieckhaus, Hallie Scruggs, and William Kinney, all 9 years old, were killed by the shooter, who has now been identified as 28-year-old Audrey Hale.
Three staff members killed have also been identified: Cynthia Peak, 61; Katherine Koonce, 60; and Mike Hill, 61.
Dr. Katherine Koonce was the Director of School for The Covenant School, according to law enforcement.
Cynthia Peak was reportedly a substitute teacher at the school, according to MNPD Spokesman Don Aaron, while Mike Hill was a custodian at the school.
Mike Hill worked at The Covenant School for 15 years. He tried to know every student by name and met every day with a smile on his face, according to former pastor Jim Bachmann.
His family released a statement, which reads:
“We would like to thank the Nashville community for all the continued thoughts and prayers. As we grieve and try to grasp any sense of understanding of why this happened, we continue to ask for support. We pray for the Covenant School and are so grateful that Michael was beloved by the faculty and students who filled him with joy for 14 years. He was a father of seven children (Marquita Oglesby, Brittany Hill, Shakita Dobbins, Ebony Smith, Joshua Smith, Tawana Smith Garner, Jeremy Smith) and 14 grandchildren. He liked to cook and spend time with family.
Additionally, one of the children killed, Hallie Scruggs, shares the same last name as the pastor of the school.
In a statement, sent to ABC News, Chad Scruggs — the father of 9-year-old Hallie Scruggs — confirmed that his daughter was killed in the shooting.
“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.”
Chad Scruggs is listed as senior pastor for the Covenant Presbyterian Church.
The family of Evelyn Dieckhaus also released a statement, describing the 9-year-old as a “shining light.”
“Our hearts are completely broken. We cannot believe this happened. Evelyn was a shining light in the world. We appreciate all the love and support but ask for space as we grieve,” said the Dieckhaus family.
A tweet from Metro Nashville Police identified the victims and their ages—during a press conference Monday afternoon, MNPD Chief John Drake referenced that one student was 8 years old going on 9 years old.
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This is a developing story. WKRN News 2 will continue to update this article as new information becomes available.