Nashville Covenant School Shooting


Mira Attia Saad, Staff Writer

On March 27, 2023, a mass shooting occurred at the Covenant Christian school in the Green Hills neighborhood of Nashville, Tennessee. Three adults and three children lost their lives due to this tragedy, and community voices have begun to renew public discussion of American gun accessibility in regards to school safety. 

Police statements document the start of this attack from 10:13 AM to ending at 10:27 AM, in which police arrived at the scene within minutes. Released body camera footage shows to the ultimate killing of the offender by police officers, past the search of classrooms and bathrooms in the halls of the building. 

Six identified lives were lost at random aim to this massacre: students Evelyn Diekhaus, Hallie Scruggs, and William Kenney, all at nine years old, as well as Mike Hill, 61, a school custodian, Cynthia Peak, 61, a substitute teacher, and Katherine Kooce, 60, the head of the school. 

These victims had deeply interpersonal connections to the church; Hallie was the daughter of Chad Scruggs, pastor within the church, as well as Ms. Peak having family members of whom belonged to the very same home of worship. 

In reminisce by community members of the lives of the victims, Governor Bill Lee of Tennessee proclaims in a video statement, “Everyone is hurting, everyone.” 

Continuing support by community members demonstrates strength and courage through the vulnerability in reaching out by other victims of mass shootings in the schoolplace. 

A former principal of Columbine High School in Colorado, Frank DeAngelis, through speaking on his own experience in the Columbine shooting of 1999, he offers his words of support: “One of the things that I learned pretty early on is an entire community can go through it, but how people deal with it, they deal with it differently.” 

Police officers and first responders, in particular, had faced the difficulty of not only addressing the situation firsthand with agility, but also with the strength to block out emotional distress factoring into decisions that had to be quickly made. 

Detective Sgt. Mathes speaks on this experience, recalling that “All of us stepped over a victim. I, to this day, don’t know how I did that morally, but training is what kicked in.” 

He accounts for these reactions by him and his unit as acts of “purpose”, in what drove them.