Nashville School Shooting Leaves Six Dead

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Staff Writer: Sydney Cayer


TW: Shootings

On the morning of March 27th, a mass shooting occurred at The Covenant School, a private Presbyterian church school.

The gunman opened fire, releasing 152 rounds of ammunition, which killed six people. 

The shooter, Aiden Hale, was a former student at the school and was planning “to commit mass murder at The Covenant School,” as written in their journal. 

This massacre was the third high-profile shooting Nashville has seen in six years.  

Hale legally purchased seven guns that were hidden in their house. Three were with them on the day of the shooting.  

Before entering the building, Hale contacted a friend on social media and revealed, “I’m planning to die today.”

The friend who received the messages then contacted the authorities.  

Hale fired a total of 152 rounds while in the building. They shot through the glass of the front doors, entered the building, and attacked anything that moved.

Hale even pulled the fire alarm to lure kids out of their classrooms. 

The massacre began at 10:13 AM, transpiring for fifteen minutes, and ended with officers killing Hale on the school’s second floor.  

Three staff members and three students died that day. 

Evelyn Dieckhaus

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Evelyn Dieckhaus (9) was a third grader.

She was a sister, daughter, singer, shining light, and strong. She was described as loving babies, animals, and nature.  

“Evelyn could have been anything,” senior pastor Clay Stauffer said. “But she chose to be a beacon of light and hope, love and joy to those around her.” 

Support the Dieckhaus family on GoFundMe.

William Kinney

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William Kinney (9) was in third grade.

He was a son, brother, nephew, and baseball player. 

“Will had an unflappable spirit. He was unfailingly kind, gentle when the situation called for it, quick to laugh, and always inclusive of others,” remarked family friend Rachel Freitas. “He loved his sisters, adored his parents, grandparents, aunts, and uncles, and was always excited to host friends of every age. Sweet Will knew no strangers.” 

Support the Kinney family on GoFundMe.  

Hallie Scruggs

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 Hallie Scruggs (9) was another third grader at the school.

She loved ninjas, unicorns, soccer, and basketball. She is described as a “vibrant little girl who was well-loved and loved others.”

On Facebook, her aunt described her as the daughter she had always longed for. Feisty, bright, and energetic. She also described Hallie as having an “on the go spirit” who loved life. 

Support the Scruggs family on their GoFundMe

Cynthia Peak

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Cynthia Peak (61) was an educator, mother, and had a love for children.

She was a substitute teacher at The Covenant School

Her husband, Chris Peak, expressed, “there is no doubt in my mind, in my family’s mind, that Cindy died a hero.”

Cynthia was described as a great mom who was wise and fierce in love. She was also the unofficial team mom, a light in the darkness, and someone you could always count on.  

She is survived by her husband, seven children, six siblings, and four grandchildren.  

Katherine Koonce

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 Dr. Katherine Koonce (59) was the head of the school.

She lived to educate, encourage, and love kids. Koonce was a child development specialist who worked with children, teens, and families.

Koonce studied at Vanderbilt University, Georgia State University, and Trevecca Nazarene University.

She died while trying to protect students, and there was no double that she confronted the shooter.  

“There was a likely confrontation — you could tell by the way she was laying,” explained Chief John Drake.

Koonce was a leader. She led the school for six years and was a fierce advocate.  

 “The moment I met Katherine, I knew immediately I was in the presence of someone truly special. Yes, she was absolutely brilliant. Yes, she was driven to be the best she could be.” Dr. Suzann Harris reminisced.

She is survived by her husband and two children. 

Mike Hill

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Mike Hill (61) was the custodian at the school.

He is remembered for his loving nature, faith, and culinary skills. His friends called him “Big Mike.”

Hill is described as being strong and tough but with a soft side.

“He hugged my kids and he hugged your kids, and he knew them by name,” pastor Jim Bachmann lamented. “As the first victim — maybe this is a sentimental thought, but it’s a comfort to me to think that Mike was there to welcome the children through the pearly gates.” 

Hill had seven children and fourteen grandchildren. He enjoyed spending time with them cooking. 

Support the Hill family on GoFundMe.


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