Another American community is reeling after a shooter killed three 9-year-olds and three adults at a private Christian elementary school in Nashville.
Monday’s attack was the deadliest US school shooting in nearly a year and the 19th shooting at a school or university so far in 2023 that left at least one person wounded, a CNN count shows.
Some 562 such shootings have unfolded since 2008.
“Our community is heartbroken,” the Covenant School, a ministry of Covenant Presbyterian Church, said in a statement, expressing thanks to first responders for their quick response and those showing support for the school.
“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,” the school said.
Here’s what we know so far about the victims:
Evelyn was 9, police said. While her family appreciates all the love and support they’ve received, they’re asking for space as they grieve, according to a family statement obtained by CNN affiliate KMOV.
“Our hearts are completely broken. We cannot believe this has happened,” the statement said. “Evelyn was a shining light in this world.”
Hill, 61, was a custodian at the school, police said.
He was a member of the facilities/kitchen staff, according to its website, which went offline shortly after the massacre.
Koonce was 60, police said, and head of the school, according to the website.
She attended Vanderbilt University and Trevecca Nazarene University in Nashville and got her master’s degree from Georgia State University, it added.
Hallie was 9, police said, and the daughter of Covenant Presbyterian Church Lead Pastor Chad Scruggs, according to a statement by Park Cities Presbyterian Church in Dallas, a sister church Scruggs formerly served.
“We love the Scruggs family and mourn with them over their precious daughter Hallie,” the Texas congregation’s Senior Pastor Mark Davis said. “Together, we trust in the power of Christ to draw near and give us the comfort and hope we desperately need.”
Also slain were William Kinney, 9 and Cynthia Peak, 61, police said.
This is a developing story and will be updated.