A Brief History
Today, we are saddened to report that on March 27, 2023, an obviously mentally ill woman named Audrey Elizabeth Hale targeted a Christian private school in Nashville, Tennessee, tragically murdering six people, including three children and three staff members, before heroic police officers neutralized the murderess.
The female shooter had apparently identified on social media with masculine pronouns and in at least one case with an alternate first name of “Aiden.”
Just prior to committing the attack, she had sent ominous messages to a friend that Hale’s life was going to end on that day and that her friend would probably hear about it on the news afterwards. This friend from middle school days contacted a Suicide Prevention Help Line and local Sheriff’s office, but no authorities responded in time to prevent the tragedy from unfolding. Nevertheless, if you believe a person is considering suicide or harming others, please immediately contact your local law enforcement authorities, as you may have a chance of saving someone. Police have also said that they found evidence of Hale’s planning of the attack and located a manifesto that could provide insight into her motives. Regardless of whatever is in this now deceased woman’s manifesto, there is of course no possible valid reason for committing such a violent assault on schoolchildren.
The adult victims were in their early 60s, while the three children were approximately 9 years old. The victims were a mixture of black and white Americans. Two adult victims were women, while one was a man. Two of the child victims were girls, while one was a boy. One of the child victims, Hallie Scruggs, was the daughter of the senior pastor at Covenant Presbyterian Church. Another child victim, Evelyn Dieckhaus, reportedly died while heroically trying to pull a fire alarm. The staff members were a custodian, a substitute teacher, and the Head of School at The Covenant School, Katherine Koonce. We offer our condolences to the families and friends of all the victims of this tragedy.
Finally, we offer praise to the heroism of the police officers who bravely entered the school and decisively eliminated the threat before she could harm any further potential victims. The Metropolitan Nashville Police Department released body camera footage from Officers Rex Englebert and Michael Collazo who fired on the woman shooter, who was killed. You can click on the link to see police body camera footage of the incident on YouTube:
Question for students (and subscribers): Moving forward, what more could or should be done to better protect school children and school staff from such attacks? Please let us know in the comments section below this article.
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For more information, please see…
Dluzneski, Daniel. The First Five Minutes:: School Shooting Survival Guide For Administrators and Teachers. Korak Press, 2022.
Newman, Katherine, et al. Rampage: The Social Roots of School Shootings. Basic Books, 2008.
The featured image in this article, a Wikivoyage-style map by Shaundd of Tennessee’s travel regions, is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 4.0 International license.