NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – Seven people are dead, including the shooter, following an “active shooter” situation at a school in Green Hills.
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UPDATE: Just before 4 p.m. Monday, Metro police released the name of the shooter and the names of all six victims.
The shooter has been identified as 28-year-old Audrey Hale, while the six victims have been identified as:
- Evelyn Dieckhaus – age 9
- Hallie Scruggs – age 9
- William Kinney – age 9
- Cynthia Peak – age 61
- Katherine Koonce – age 60
- Mike Hill – age 61
The Nashville Fire Department said the incident happened at Covenant School located at 33 Burton Hills Boulevard.
Metro police said the shooting began at 10:13 a.m. as Hale entered the school by shooting her way through a side door and made her way from the first floor to the second floor, firing multiple shots.
Metro police released photos Monday night, showing a bullet hole in a squad car windshield, along with windows shot out from the second story of the school. Police said Hale fired shots at arriving officers from the second floor.
Police reported that two officers entered the building, ran toward the sound of gunfire, met Hale on the second floor of the school, and fatally shot her. Those officers have since been identified as Officer Rex Englebert, a four-year MNPD veteran, and Officer Michael Collazo, a nine-year MNPD veteran.
Hale, a Nashville woman, identifies as transgender. Hale was reportedly armed with two assault-style rifles and one handgun.
Hale was believed to live at Brightwood Avenue in the Belmont-Hillsboro neighborhood. When investigators searched the home, they found detailed maps drawn of the school, including surveillance and entry points, as well as a manifesto.
Just after 7 p.m. Monday, police revealed Hale drove a Honda Fit to the Covenant Church/School campus and parked on the property before entering the school. Police detectives searched the vehicle and found “additional material written by Hale.”
By 10:27 a.m., police said Hale was deceased. MNPD Chief John Drake said Hale attended Covenant School at one time and had no criminal history. Chief Drake also said the shooting was a targeted attack and said gender ID could play a role.
A spokesperson with Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt confirmed to News 2’s Kendall Ashman that three children, later identified as Dieckhaus, Scruggs, and Kinney, were taken to the hospital with gunshot wounds and died from their injuries.
Koonce was identified as the Head of School, while Peak was a substitute teacher and Hill was the school’s custodian, according to police.
A total of seven people, including the shooter, are deceased.
A reunification area was established at 2100 Woodmont Boulevard (Woodmont Baptist Church) for parents to meet their children who attend The Covenant School.
Rebekah Hammonds with the Tennessee Department of Transportation (TDOT) said the following closures were in place following the shooting:
- Northbound lanes of Harding Place at Hillsboro Pike
- East and Westbound I-440 off ramps at Exit 3 for Hillsboro Pike
Dr. Adrienne Battle, Director of Metro Nashville Public Schools, issued the following statement on the school shooting:
“As a parent, as an educator, as a human being, I’m grieving today over the tragic murder of children and school staff right here in our community. My heart goes out to the entire Covenant School community and the parents grieving the unimaginable loss of life today.
“We have been in close contact with the MNPD throughout the day, and we are providing whatever support we can to assist in their response. This is a traumatic event for the entire community, and our student support services team will be working to help our students and staff process this situation in the days to come.
“We don’t know all of the details of how or why this happened, and we may never fully know. At Metro Schools, we have invested considerable resources to strengthen security at our facilities in response to the far too many, far too often instances of school shootings across the nation over the years. We will continue to reinforce our safety protocols and monitor and follow best practices on keeping students safe from harm.”
Mayor John Cooper took to Twitter to share his thoughts on the shooting, tweeting, “In a tragic morning, Nashville joined the dreaded, long list of communities to experience a school shooting. My heart goes out to the families of the victims. Our entire city stands with you. As facts continue to emerge, I thank our first responders and medical professionals.”
ATF Nashville also said they are responding to the scene to assist the MNPD.
The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation and the Federal Bureau of Investigation both said they are investigating as well.
The Red Cross said they are “providing disaster mental health workers, spiritual care workers, water and snacks at this time.”
The Covenant School released a statement Monday night:
“Our community is heartbroken. We are grieving tremendous loss and are in shock coming out of the terror that shattered our school and church. We are focused on loving our students, our families, our faculty and staff and beginning the process of healing.
Law enforcement is conducting its investigation, and while we understand there is a lot of interest and there will be a lot of discussion about and speculation surrounding what happened, we will continue to prioritize the well-being of our community.
We appreciate the outpouring of support we have received, and we are tremendously grateful to the first responders who acted quickly to protect our students, faculty and staff.
We ask for privacy as our community grapples with this terrible tragedy – for our students, parents, faculty and staff.“