Nashville School Shooting Breaks Records, Becoming the Deadliest Yet This Year


Joseph Abrahantes

In memory of the six lives lost, flowers and gifts are laid in the eternal memorialization of those lives taken by the Nashville school shooter, Audrey Hale on March 27.

On March 27, 2023, a Christian school in the United States became the location for one of the deadliest school shootings since the start of the year. At the Covenant School in Nashville, Tennessee, alumna, 28-year-old Audrey Hale killed a total of six people, three adults and three children, using two AR-military rifles and a handgun. Before the rampage of shots and screams was over, Hale lost her own life as well, killed by the Nashville Police Department.

“We’re the only first world country where these massacres keep consistently occurring. Clearly, there’s a difference between our laws and those of other developed countries. The U.S. is undoubtedly doing something wrong, because the culture around guns here is completely different than how it is anywhere else. So, it’s not just a matter of changing the laws, but also the way that we think and act around guns,” Mrs. LeFebvre said.

Hale arrived at the school with three weapons, legally obtained around the Nashville area the week prior to the shooting. Surveillance video collected on campus shows Hale entered the school by shooting out the glass doors and climbing under the door’s crossbar. Police have determined that the suspect did not have any specific target, but Hale fired about 152 rounds before being taken down herself by Nashville cops, Michael Collazo and Rex Engelbert. During that time, she took the lives of three students, one custodian, one substitute teacher and the headmaster of the school.

“I know a lot of people have guns for protective reasons, but not doing anything to prevent gun violence in schools is causing a bigger issue. There are pros and cons to the Second Amendment, but I think now that children’s safety has become a factor, the cons are outweighing the pros,” freshman Zeina Wallace said.

Among the lives lost inside the halls of the Covenant School, 9-year-olds, Eveyln Dieckhaus, William Kinney and Hallie Scruggs were killed in the massacre, as well as 61-year-olds, school custodian, Mike Hill, and substitute teacher, Cynthia Peak and lastly, 60-year-old, Katherine Hoonce, head of the school.

First responders quickly arrived at the scene, arriving 8 minutes after the initial calls for help. Retired church member, Tom Pulliam, who was walking away from the school with several other children told dispatchers he saw Hale shoot through the door. Two teachers called emergency services, both pleading for help in hushed voices as gunshots could be heard in the background. At 10:27 a.m., 4 minutes after their arrival and 14 minutes after the shooter’s entrance, they were able to locate Hale and fatally shoot her. Following the shooting, those remaining students locked down at the school were ferried to a safe location to be reunited with their parents. 

Searching for a motive, police officials suggest that she may have felt resentment toward the school she once attended as a third and fourth grader. However, her parents claim that she was suffering from an emotional disorder, which may have resulted in the massacre. At home, they believed her to be a shy, sweet girl, and school officials considered her to be a normal student who was interested in arts and sports. 

“Police need to bring more awareness of the dangers of guns to young kids so that their future generation will not feel the need to own guns. By raising awareness of the risks, people will be less inclined to buy them. The government can also place restrictions on gun laws especially to prevent easy access to military weapons,” freshman Alejandro Monroy said.

 That afternoon, during the search of Hale’s home, officers found three folders and 19 journals, which all included firearm courses and details regarding previous school shootings. Evidence showed that Hale found her inspiration in other shootings, planning her attack for several months by studying the actions of other mass murders. Hale’s suicide note was also found during the investigation, but whether she intended to lose her own life is unclear. Her notes continue to be reviewed by the police and FBI. 

“I believe in the Second Amendment, I believe in our constitutional right to bear arms. However, society is not the same as it was 200 years ago. We need to update and close some of the loopholes to gun access. Things like closing gun shows and having smaller clips, so that they have to reload more often, could help regulate some of the excessive gun violence in the U.S. Maybe even a psychological evaluation could be enforced, there are definitely a lot of things that could be done, but nobody takes action on it. We all know the problem, but nobody has an answer,”  Mr. Miller said. 

This massacre was yet another sign of increasing gun violence throughout the United States. The bloodshed inside school walls and names on graves will not be forgotten as protests around the country surge in the name of the victims, demanding justice for their lost loved ones.