Nashvillians heartbroken as investigators search for motive in deadly school shooting

Nashville, Tenn. (WMC) – Nashvillians are mourning and sharing their grief Monday after a deadly school shooting sent shockwaves through the city.

Several vigils were held across the city and outside Covenant Presbyterian Church and School in Nashville’s Green Hills neighborhood, where six people, including three children, were shot and killed early Monday morning.

The three students who died at the private Christian school were just nine years old.

They have been identified as Evelyn Dickhouse, Holly Scruggs and William Kinney.

The three older victims were all employees: the director, Kathryn Koons, 60; caretaker, Mike Hill, 61; and substitute teacher Cynthia Peake, 61.

Metro Nashville Police say the shooter, Audrey Hale, 28, was also killed after a shootout with police. Police say Hale identified as transgender and was a former Covenant School student.

Daniel Rodriguez and Sam Tidwell were just two of them who went out of their way to honor themselves.

“It hit home,” Rodriguez said. “I actually lost my mother when I was 10 and I only know some of the parents and some of the teachers here, they just remind me of home sometimes because when kids come to school they want to go to a place where they feel safe. they feel, come.”

“It’s easy to get angry at times like this,” Tidwell said. “But, it’s important that you love yourself, love those around you and be there for the people who need you. Really just make this community a loving community and we can avoid tragedies like this, hopefully.”

Police say a team of five officers entered the school and shot and killed Hale just before 10:30 a.m. Monday.

“He was armed with at least two assault-type rifles and a handgun,” MNPD spokesman Don Aaron said.

Investigators searched Hale’s home, where police say some of the evidence they collected included notes and school maps.

Police also say Hale drove to school Monday morning in a Honda Fit. It was found in the school parking lot with more writing inside the car.

“Entry was gained by shooting through one of the doors, which is where they actually entered the school,” MNPD Chief John Drake said.

Police say Hale has no prior criminal history.

Officers are still investigating a motive for the shooting.

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