Nashville shooting victims included 9-year-old children, head of school
Police have identified the three children and three adults who were killed in a mass shooting at The Covenant School in Nashville's Green Hills neighborhood on Monday morning.
Authorities identified the children as Evelyn Dieckhaus, Hallie Scruggs and William Kinney, all 9 years old, and the adults as Cynthia Peak, 61, Katherine Koonce, 60, and Mike Hill, 61.
The Nashville Presbytery confirmed to CBS News that 9-year-old Scruggs was the daughter of Chad Scruggs, the senior pastor at Covenant Presbyterian Church.
All three adults worked at the school. Hill worked as a custodian, Peak was identified by authorities as a substitute teacher and Koonce is listed as head of school on the school's website.
Police have identified the shooter as a former student at the school: 28-year-old Audrey Hale, from Nashville. Authorities released body camera footage Tuesday of police officers responding to the shooting and taking down the assailant.
Although authorities have not determined a possible motive for the shooting, they are characterizing it as a targeted attack. However, police do not believe that the victims were targeted individually.
"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."
"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.
Police said the shooter was armed with "at least" two assault-style rifles and a handgun during the attack. They determined that the shooter had previously purchased seven firearms, legally, from five local stores, according to Drake. Three of those weapons were used to carry out the shooting, the police chief said.
The shooter's parents were under the impression that the shooter had at one time owned a weapon but sold it, Drake said, adding that the parents did not know the shooter had other weapons after that.
Police determined the shooter had hidden "several" weapons in the home, he said.
The shooter entered The Covenant School through a side door and traversed the building, moving from the first floor to the second floor and "firing multiple shots," Aaron said.
Responding officers saw the shooter firing on the second level, and at that point, they "engaged," Aaron said. The shooter was fatally shot by two of the five responding police officers at the scene, he said.
Covenant, founded in 2001, is a private Christian school with 33 teachers and up to 210 students starting in preschool through 6th grade, according to the school website.
for more features.