The three children and three adults who perished in a Monday morning shooting at The Covenant School in Nashville’s Green Hills neighborhood have been recognized by the police.
Police identified the adults as Cynthia Peak, 61, Katherine Koonce, 60, and Mike Hill, 61, and the children as Evelyn Dieckhaus, Hallie Scruggs, and William Kinney, all 9 years old.
According to the Nashville Presbytery, the senior pastor of Covenant Presbyterian Church, Chad Scruggs, is the father of 9-year-old Scruggs, who confirmed this to CBS News.
The school employed all three of the adults. Peak was recognized by the authorities as a substitute teacher, Hill worked as a custodian, and Koonce was listed as the head of school on the school’s website.
Officials have identified the shooter as Audrey Hale, a 28-year-old Nashville resident and former pupil at the institution. Police officers responding to the shooting and taking down the attacker are seen in body camera footage made public on Tuesday by the authorities.
Authorities are classifying the shooting as a targeted attack even though they have not yet identified a potential motivation. Police, however, do not think that any of the victims were singled out for attack.
“We feel that these students who were targeted were randomly targeted,” said Nashville Police Chief John Drake on Tuesday.
Don Aaron, the director of media relations at the police department, clarified that while there is “no evidence that individuals were specifically targeted” in the shooting, “this school, this church building was a target of the shooter.”
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“But we have no information at present to indicate that the shooter was specifically targeting any one of the six individuals who were murdered,” Aaron said.
Authorities reported that the shooter was armed with “at least” two assault-style rifles and a handgun during the attack.
According to Drake, they discovered that the shooter had previously bought seven weapons legally from five nearby businesses. The police claimed that the shooting was carried out with three firearms.
Drake claimed that the shooter’s parents believed that the gunman had once possessed a firearm but sold it and that they were unaware that the shooter afterward acquired other guns.
He stated that, according to police, the shooter had “many” firearms hidden inside the house.
The Covenant School shooter entered the building through a side door, moved from the first to the second level, and “fired multiple shots,” according to Aaron.
When responding cops observed the shooter firing from the second level, they “engaged,” according to Aaron. Two of the five responding police officers at the site, according to him, shot and killed the shooter.
According to the school website, Covenant was established in 2001 and is a private Christian school with 33 teachers and up to 210 kids in preschool through sixth grade.