Armed Attack on Christian Grade School Re-opens Discussion On How to Prevent Future Tragedy


Carley Brown, Staff Writer

America grieves yet again after a shooting at a private Christian elementary school in Nashville, Tennessee left three adults and three children dead. The suspect Aiden Hale, 28, was a former student of the school that was being treated for an emotional disorder near the area. Authorities fatally shot him on the scene. On March 27, Aiden, also known as Audrey Hale, drove to the private Christian grade school and shot through a glass door in order to enter the building. Surveillance video showed the shooter going up to the second floor and beginning to fire shots. The school immediately went into lockdown and authorities were called. When police arrived they heard gunshots and the assailant began firing shots at police cars through a window. Two police officers approached Hale and they each shot him two times, killing him instantly. Hale carefully planned this attack for months. During the shooting, he fired over 150 shots using a military-style semi-automatic rifle, one handgun, and a small 9-millimeter carbine. Those weapons were legally purchased by Hale at five different local gun stores. On March 28, three victims were identified as Evelyn Dieckhaus, Hallie Scruggs, and William Kinney, all nine years old. Hallie Scruggs was the daughter of Chad Scruggs, the pastor at Covenant Presbyterian Church, which is associated with the elementary school. The adult victims were identified as head of the school Katherine Koonce, substitute teacher, Cynthia Peak, and custodian Mike Hill. In a statement, Evelyn’s family described her as a “shining light in this world”. On March 29, the grieving Nashville community came together to mourn the lost lives of the six victims. First Lady Jill Biden was in attendance as the citizens shared heartache with each other. “Our heart is broken. Our city united as we mourn together,” Mayor John Cooper said. Although the victims were not specifically targeted, a motive for the shooting has yet to be determined, but, police say Hale’s handwritten drawing of the school and how it would be entered made it clear that the attack was calculated and planned and Hale “considered the actions of other mass shooters”. People are calling for the Nashville police to release the manifesto they found, but they have refused saying that the material is a part of an ongoing investigation. Americans are confused as to why this is an ongoing investigation because they assume there is nothing to investigate as the assailant is deceased. Others want this mass shooting to be deeply investigated because they want closure and answers. Either way, these senseless massacres are happening way too often and something needs to be done to stop innocent people from dying at the hands of a maniac.