March 27, 2023. Nicole Hester/USA Today Network via REUTERS

Shooting at Nashville Elementary School Leaves Six Dead, Including Three Children

A heavily armed transgender woman attacked a private Christian elementary school in Nashville, Tennessee on Monday, murdering six people including three children before police killed the shooter.


A heavily armed transgender woman attacked a private Christian elementary school in Nashville, Tennessee on Monday, murdering six people including three children before police killed the shooter.

  • Three nine-year-old children were killed in the rampage: Evelyn Dieckhaus, Hallie Scruggs, and William Kenney. Three adults were killed, including Cynthia Peak, 61, a substitute teacher, Mike Hill, 61, a custodian, and Dr. Kathleen Koonce, 60, the Head of School.
  • Hallie Scruggs was the daughter of Chad Scruggs, the pastor of Covenant Presbyterian Church. The school is affiliated with Covenant Presbyterian Church.
  • The Covenant School was founded in 2001. The private Christian elementary school teaches children from prekindergarten to sixth grade. About 200 students are enrolled at Covenant, supported by 50 staff members.
  • The suspect, Audrey E. Hale, was a former student of Covenant School and left behind a “manifesto,” along with detailed maps of the school and its security practices. The shooter fired through a side door to enter the building at approximately 10:13am.
  • The shooter went to the second floor where shots were fired before Hale was killed by police at 10:27am, fourteen minutes after the first 911 call. Police confirmed that the attack was targeted and investigators believe the shooter has “some resentment for having to go to that school.”
  • President Joe Biden said the shooting was “sick” and “a family’s worst nightmare” and renewed his calls for Congress to pass an assault weapons ban. Any gun control legislation is unlikely to make it through a divided Congress.
  • White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre used the shooting as an excuse to bash Republicans in demagogic terms: “How many more children have to be murdered before Republicans in Congress will step up and act to pass the assault weapons ban, to close loopholes in our background check system or to require the safe storage of guns?”


reporting from the left side of the aisle


  • According to CNN, there was no school resource officer present at the school as it is a private school operated by a church. A five-member team of police officers charged into the building and went to the second floor, where they killed the suspect.
  • The Washington Post reported the suspect was armed with two AR-style rifles and a handgun. Police searched Hale’s home and interviewed the suspect’s father, and recovered evidence from the home and from the car the shooter drove to the school.
  • Rachael Anne Elrod, the Metro Nashville School Board chair, described the scene in the family reunification center, per the New York Times. The parents “are mostly figuring out how they are going to talk to their children going forward about this,” she said. “What is the next best step? What should they do next? Do we take them to get ice cream? Take them to the playground? Do we ask them what they saw? Do we not ask them what they saw? Do we bring them to school tomorrow? Is there school tomorrow?”



  • Nashville police released security camera footage from the shooting late Monday night, according to Fox News. The footage shows the suspect shooting through glass doors to enter the school before shooting down hallways within the school.
  • The Wall Street Journal reported students and families were reunified at nearby Woodmont Baptist Church, about two miles away from the Covenant School. Parents could be seen hugging each other and bowing their heads in prayer as they awaited news about their loved ones.
  • The New York Post covered Biden’s odd decision to open his public remarks about the shooting with jokes about ice cream. “My name is Joe Biden. I’m Dr. Jill Biden’s husband and I eat Jeni’s ice cream — chocolate chip. I came down because I heard there was chocolate chip ice cream,” Biden said as he began his remarks. “By the way, I have a whole refrigerator full upstairs,” the octogenarian president continued. “You think I’m kidding? I’m not.”


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© Dominic Moore, 2023