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Community in anguish remembers Nashville school shooting victims

Scripps News is learning more about the six victims killed in the shooting at The Covenant School.
Posted at 9:47 AM, Mar 29, 2023

Parents and students of a neighboring Nashville Christian school showed their empathy and support for the victims of The Covenant School by tying bows to signs, trees and posts along a busy highway in front of the school.

Trever Mason didn’t know anyone at the school but felt impassioned to come show love for the victims.

"My heart just went out to the family. I purchased a peace lily because I feel that our country needs peace, especially in our school," said Mason.

A heartbroken Nashville, as families of the victims grieve and try to ease the pain and sadness of those who’ve lost loved ones.

"My heart is broken tonight. For these families, for our community, and for every Nashvillian because evil has come here today," said Curtis McDowell, who came to pay his respects.

Scripps News is learning more about thesix victims, including the three children, killed in the shooting at The Covenant School.

Students at a nearby school pay respects at a memorial for the people who were killed

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Katherine Koonce, the 60-year-old head of the Presbyterian School since 2016, was a person who cared not only for the children but also for adults in the community; friends noted how she could be counted on when someone got sick or was in need.

letter from Koonceon the school website describes the mission as not just to educate kids but to guide them in "the miracle of their development and seeing them transform into who they will be."

Head custodian Mike Hill was also killed; a friend of his posted on social media how Hill would send people encouraging messages that would come out of the blue.

Also killed was substitute teacher Cynthia Peak, who was 61 years old. She is reportedly survived by her husband, daughter, and two sons.

The three murdered children were identified as Evelyn Dieckhaus, William Kinney, and Hallie Scruggs, who was the daughter of Chad Scruggs, the lead pastor at the Covenant Presbyterian Church.

Evelyn’s family called their 9-year-old a shining light in this world; they said, "Our hearts are completely broken."

On a fundraising page for William Kinney, the organizer called the boy an "unflappable spirit."

On Wednesday, mayor John Cooper scheduled a candlelight vigil to mourn and honor the lives lost. The gathering will be in Nashville’s public square park.