NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) — A day after six people were shot and killed Monday morning at the Covenant School in Green Hills, Nashvillians are still recovering from and processing the tragedy.
Body camera footage released Tuesday showed the moment Metro Nashville Police arrived at the school after receiving the first call around 10:13 a.m. The 28-year-old shooter, identified as Audrey Hale, was shot and killed by police after opening fire on the second floor.
Three children, Evelyn Dieckhaus, Hallie Scruggs, and William Kinney, all 9 years old, and three staff members Cynthia Peak, 61, Katherine Koonce, 60, and Mike Hill, 61 were killed.
A makeshift memorial has continued to grow after neighbors began making their way to the scene Monday night to leave flowers and trinkets in honor of the six victims.
Witnessing community violence and death can be a traumatic experience, and it’s not uncommon for communities as a whole to experience grief or anger, according to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA).
Feelings such as overwhelming anxiety, trouble sleeping, and other depression-like symptoms are common responses to incidents of mass violence, and SAMHSA said children can be particularly vulnerable.
Other signs of emotional distress related to incidents of mass violence may include:
- Feeling numb or like nothing matters
- Feeling helpless or hopeless
- Worrying a lot of the time; feeling guilty but not sure why
- Feeling like you have to keep busy
- Excessive smoking, drinking, or using drugs (including prescription medication)
However, there are several resources available to help victims, their families and the community cope with grief. Below are some resources complied by the U.S. Department of Justice Office for Victims of Crime that may be helpful following the Covenant School shooting.
VictimConnect is an OVC-funded service that offers confidential assistance to victims of crime. Trained specialists are available to help callers access mental health counseling, legal services, and more. VictimConnect staff can be reached from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. eastern time at:
Phone: 855-4-VICTIM (855-484-2846)
Disaster Distress Helpline
The Disaster Distress Helpline, funded by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, is a national hotline dedicated to providing year-round disaster crisis counseling.
This 24/7 toll free, multilingual, crisis support service is available to residents in the United States and its territories who are experiencing emotional distress related to natural or human-caused disasters, including incidents of mass violence. Call or text the hotline at 800-985-5990.
Resources to help children
National Child Traumatic Stress Network
The National Child Traumatic Stress Network provides a series of resources that may assist parents, school personnel, pediatric care providers, and others when speaking with children, including:
The NCTSN also has resources for responders on Psychological First Aid. Psychological First Aid is an early intervention to support children, adolescents, adults, and families impacted by these types of events.
Additional resources for victims, families and the community
Transcend Mobile App
Funded by OVC, this National Mass Violence Victimization Resource Center mobile app provides resources and information about common reactions to mass violence and strategies for recovery.
Users can access tools and activities on calming the body, managing distressing thoughts, maintaining healthy activity, coping with loss, and helping others. A “Get Help” feature offers contact information for crisis hotlines and other support services.
To learn more or download the Transcend Mobile App, click here.
National Mass Violence Victimization Resource Center
The National Mass Violence Victimization Resource Center also has a page providing self-help for survivors. It addresses common trauma reactions, coping tips, guides for parents and caregivers, and other support.
For a full list of available resources or to find out more information, click here.