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Daily Mirror
Daily Mirror
Charlie Jones

Tragic girl, 9, killed in Nashville shooting pictured as six victims named

Three tragic nine-year-old children and three adults slaughtered in the Nashville school shooting have been named, as a community reels from yesterday's atrocity.

One of the children gunned down has been named as Hallie Scruggs, 9, he daughter of Chad Scruggs, who was the senior pastor at The Covenant School, the church confirmed to reporters.

All six victims of the shooting have now been named.

The three children killed were Evelyn Dieckhaus, Hallie Scruggs and William Kinney, all nine-years-old.

The adults killed were identified as Cynthia Peak, 61, a substitute teacher, Mike Hill, 61, a janitor, and Katherine Koonce, 60, who was the head of the school.

Hallie Scruggs, 9, centre with her dad, a pastor at the school (Facebook)

The Nashville Presbytery told CBS News that Haile Scruggs was the daughter of Mr Scruggs, the senior pastor at Covenant Presbyterian Church.

The shooter was yesterday identified as 28-year-old local Audrey Hale.

Police had searched their house and found a detailed map of the school, including potential entry points, and evidence clearly done surveillance before the shooting.

Authorities also described Hale as a "lone zealot", who had written a manifesto ahead of the attack.

Katherine Koonce, 60, was the head teacher at The Covenant School in Nashville.

One parent described her to the BBC as a "saint".

The mum said: "She did so much for those kids. And now gave her life protecting them."

She added: "She knew every single student by name.

"She did everything to help them when families couldn't afford things, it didn't matter. She found ways for them to stay."

Mike Hill, a custodian at the school, was also one of the adults to be killed.

Tim Dunavant, a pastor who had previously worked at Covenant, had hired Mr Hill over 13 years ago.

He said he would not be surprised if Mr Hill had sacrificed his life to save children because "he's the kind of guy that would do that".

The third adult killed was Cynthia Peak, 61, who police say was a substitute teacher.

Tributes have poured in for slain headteacher Katherine Koonce (Katherine Koonce / Linkedin)

According to KALB, she was raised in Leesville, Louisiana.

She is survived by her husband, a daughter and two sons.

Police had previously identified shooter Hale as a transgender woman, but a police spokesperson has since told the Washington Post that Hale "is a biological woman who, on a social media profile, used male pronouns".

A shocking video released by police shows Hale shooting their way through a side door of the school.

Katherine Koonce, headteacher at the school was killed (The Covenant School)

She was eventually killed on the first floor of the building by police.

Victim Evelyn Dieckhaus, 9, was one of three child victims killed by Hale.

She was a third grader at the school and went in each day with her sister, a fifth grader.

At the end of a vigil at Woodmont Christian Church, Evelyn’s sister broke down in tears as she said:“I don’t want to be an only child.”

A statement released by the family of Evelyn Dieckhaus reads: “Our hearts are completely broken. We cannot believe this has happened.

"Evelyn was a shining light in this world. We appreciate all the love and support but ask for space as we grieve.“

Sarah Drury, who knew Evelyn and her family, posted a heartfelt tribute to the girl online.

She wrote: "One of the 9 year old victims of the Nashville school shooting goes to my church (Woodmont Christian). Her name is Evelyn Dieckhaus. She was adorable. I taught her equally angelic big sister in Sunday Sunday school."

Substitute teacher Cynthia Peak, 61, with her daughter (Facebook)

Will Kinney was the third child killed in the massacre.

A GoFundMe fundraiser posted by a family friend paid tribute to the murdered nine-year-old boy.

It read: "Will had an unflappable spirit. He was unfailingly kind, gentle when the situation called for it, quick to laugh, and always inclusive of others. He loved his sisters, adored his parents, grandparents, aunts and uncles, and was always excited to host friends of every age.

"Sweet Will knew no strangers, and our hearts our broken for his family as they try to find their way forward."

Audrey Hale in her LinkedIn profile picture (LinkedIn)

In a statement, a spokesperson for the school wrote: "Our community is heartbroken. We are grieving tremendous loss and are in shock coming out of the terror that shattered our school and church.

"We are focused on loving our students, our families, our faculty and staff and beginning the process of healing."

Hale is believed to be a former student at The Covenant School in Nashville, who used two assault rifles and a pistol to kill six.

Audrey Hale was initially identified as a transgender woman by police but this was later corrected to 'a biological woman who, on a social media profile, used male pronouns' (REX/Shutterstock)
Audrey Hale mapped out the school and wrote a manifesto ahead of the shooting (Twitter)

Metropolitan Nashville Police Chief John Drake said: “We have a manifesto, we have some writings we’re going over that pertain to this day, the actual incident.

“We have a map drawn out of how this was all going to take place.

“There’s right now a theory that we may be able to talk about later but it’s not confirmed, and so we’ll put that out as soon as we can.”

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