Remembering the Victims of the Nashville School Shooting


Sophia Ferrante, Staff Writer

The 89th school shooting of the year was reported in Nashville, Tennessee, on the morning of Monday, March 29, sending shocking waves of horror through the small and tightly knit community. 

The shooter, later identified as 28-year-old Audrey Hale, was killed by police at the scene, after shooting and killing six people. Three of the victims were 9-year-old students, and three were adults that worked at the school. 

Evelyn Dieckhaus, a 9-year-old, third grade student at the school, was described by her family as a “shining light in this world.” She was believed to be leading her classmates to safety when she was killed. 

Mike Hill, a 61-year-old school custodian, had been working at the school and was beloved by the students and faculty of the school for 14 years. He is survived by seven children and fourteen grandchildren. 

Katherine Koonce, the 60-year-old head of the school, gave her life to protect her students. Metro police strongly suggested that she had confronted the shooter in a school hallway before she was killed. Friends of Koonce stated that they were sure she would have confronted the shooter from the type of person she was, and said that “if there was any danger in that school, she would run to it, not from it.” She was devoted to her career and the children whom she had an impact on every day. 

Cynthia Peak, a 61-year-old substitute teacher, was filling in for a teacher on the day of the shooting. Her family remembers her as the mother to her three children, a wife, and an educator to her students, all of whom she cared about deeply.

Hailey Scruggs, 9-years-old, was a third grader at the school. She was described by her family as “such a gift” and her family is heartbroken to lose her.

William Kinney, a 9-year-old third grade student, went by the nickname of Will. He was described as kind, gentle, and inclusive and loving of his friends and family. 

The shooter entered the school by firing through sets of glass doors. Hale had purchased seven firearms legally, using three of them in the attack. The assailant was being treated for an emotional disorder at the time of the attack, and their parents stated that they felt their child should not and did not own weapons. 

After the attack, the shooter was discovered to identify as transgender, which is being used to criminalize transgender people by many conservative news outlets. Following the attack, U.S. Representative Marjorie Taylor Greene tweeted that we “can stop blaming guns now” in reference to the shooter identifying as transgender. 

However, the shooter’s identity is an abnormality, not the standard, for a school shooter. Donald Trump Jr. claimed on Twitter that a clear trend of nonbinary and transgender mass shooters was forming; however, this has been proven untrue. The overwhelming majority of assailants in mass shootings are cisgender males. 

Laura Dugan, a professor of human security and sociology, stated following the shooting that 0.11 percent of mass shootings are by non-cisgender people, and that making a claim like that of Trump Jr. would be unfounded in statistics or facts.

As America is recovering from another tragedy close to the hearts of many, it’s important to avoid misinformation, such as placing unnecessary blame for such events. It isn’t the fault of one small group of shooters, but rather a large problem with every person able to access weapons to perpetrate such a shooting.