As another community grapples with the aftermath of a mass shooting at a school, information about the six victims has begun to emerge.
Among them were the school’s head, a pastor’s daughter, and three children who were in the third grade.
The 28-year-old former student who wielded a gun and was subsequently killed by police in Nashville cut short the lives of three children: Evelyn Dieckhaus, Hallie Scruggs, and William Kinney, all of whom were nine years old and in the third grade.
Hallie was the daughter of Chad Scruggs, a senior pastor at Covenant Presbyterian Church, where the school was located. Similarly, Evelyn and William were also third-grade students.
During a vigil held on Monday, Clay Stauffer, a senior minister at Covenant Presbyterian, tearfully spoke about Evelyn, while her older sister, a fifth-grader, lamented the loss of her only sibling.
“I don’t want to be an only child,” she said in tears, according to the Tennessean.
According to reports, Katherine Koonce, aged 60, originally from Baton Rouge, Louisiana, served as the headmaster of the school. She attended Louisiana State University and the University High Lab School, as per a family friend.
Koonce graduated from the Peabody College of Education and Human Development at Vanderbilt University in Nashville in 1985, as per an email sent by chancellor Daniel Diermeier to alumni, as reported by the New York Times.
Cynthia Peak, aged 61, was a substitute teacher, while Mike Hill, aged 61, worked as a custodian at the school.
The shooter, identified as Audrey Hale, was killed by the police about 15 minutes into the attack. Police discovered a “manifesto” and other materials but did not disclose the motive behind the attack.
As seven prayer vigils were held around the city on Monday to honor the victims, few details about those killed were available. More vigils were scheduled for Tuesday. The Covenant community expressed deep sadness over the tragedy.
“We are grieving tremendous loss and are in shock coming out of the terror that shattered our school and church,” they were quoted as saying by the Tennessean. “We are focused on loving our students, our families, our faculty and staff and beginning the process of healing.”