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Christian School shooting devastates Tennessee community

By Nicole Sanchez, staff writer

Courtesy of bluntforcetruth

On Monday, March 27, a school shooting at private elementary school, The Covenant Presbyterian Church, occurred in Nashville Tennessee leaving three adults and three nine-year-olds dead.

Police identified the shooter to be a former student, Audrey Hale, 28. Hale was carrying three weapons, two assault rifles and a pistol. Hale had also legally purchased seven weapons from five different local gun stores. There has been no motive as to why Hale did this, but Hale had been receiving treatment for an emotional disorder. Hale was living with their parents and they hid the guns from them and their parents had felt that they shouldn’t own weapons. 

Surveillance video shows the shooter entering the school by shooting the side door. Hale then moved upstairs to the second floor firing multiple shots. The shooter was killed within 14 minutes of entering, but within those few minutes, Hale killed three adults and three children. 

The three children who were killed are Evelyn Dieckhaus, Haillie Scruggs and William Kinney all who were 9-years-old. Hallie was the daughter of Chad Scruggs, the senior pastor of Covenant Presbyterian Church. The adults killed are head of the school Katherin Koonce, substitute teacher Cynthia Peak and custodian Mike Hill. 

“My heart is absolutely broken. three of the victims are literally babies. They had their whole lives and it was cut short by someone who they didn’t even know. One of the police officers’ body cams was released and while they were running up to the shooter you see a blurred out little body of one of the victims just lying there. It’s just so wrong a little baby didn’t deserve that, no one does,” senior Queens college major Lauren Hernando said.

Police reported that the shooter prepared for the killings with a manifesto and a booklet; they found out exactly what Hale had planned to do. They found a map that shows entry points in the entire school, the weapons that were going to be used and the clothes Hale was going to wear, which were exactly what Hale wore the day of the shooting. There is also reason to believe this wasn’t the only target for the shooter. Police found another map of a local mall. 

This shooting took place 10 months after the Uvalde Elementary school shooting in Texas in May. A Texas lawmaker points out the complete difference in police response. 

“Nashville PD neutralized the killer in 14 minutes. Then in less than 24 hours they release body cam footage. Meanwhile Texas PD let the Uvalde killer wreak havoc for 77 minutes and made legislators sign NDAs to view footage. Ten months later, they have YET to be transparent about what happened on May 24,” state Rep. Roland Gutierrez (R-Texas) said in a tweet.

“It’s cowardly. Both police departments, not just one, are in the wrong. Yes Nashville PD went in asap and killed the shooter before they could do more damage but they should have never released the body cam footage because what does that give us? We saw a 9-year-olds lifeless body on the floor and then showed us when they took the killer down. The Uvalde PD shouldn’t have taken 77 minutes to enter the school, 21 people were murdered because they took too long to intervene. They need to do better,” freshman education major Ava Saper said.

There have been 130 mass shootings across the U.S. so far this year and many states have been calling for new gun restrictions, but many Republican-led states moved in the other direction. 

“We can’t control what they do,” Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee (R) said.

“It’s so absurd that they can’t enforce harder gun laws but they can take away a woman’s right entirely. Make it make sense. Children are being killed in schools and they expect me to have a child just to be murdered? Yeah no thanks I’m good,” sophomore criminal justice major Sabrina Kuvykin said.

States led by Democrats have been pursuing more stringent gun control measures. In Connecticut, after the 2012 Sandy Hook school shooting in Newtown, state lawmakers made an assault weapons ban, banned high-capacity magazines and implemented universal background checks. Last year, Oregon voters approved a sweeping gun control measure, which requires gun purchasers to get a permit and take a gun safety course.

On Friday, dozens of people poured into the Woodmont Christian church’s main sanctuary for the first funeral service of the six victims.

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