Family of 9-year-old Hallie Scruggs mourns their loss: 'We are heartbroken'
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Less than a week ago, Hallie Scruggs began her school week at The Covenant School, a private Christian school in southwest Nashville.
Within hours of starting her classwork, the blonde 9-year-old girl, the only daughter of Chad and Jada Scruggs, would be dead and added to the list of the nation's victims of gun violence. Family members have largely declined to comment on the tragedy and have so far said little about Hallie, who was remembered by family friends on social media for her love of ninjas and unicorns, and for playing soccer and basketball.
But, Chad Scruggs, senior pastor of Covenant Presbyterian Church in Nashville, has said that the family is relying on its faith to help it get through this tragedy.
"We are heartbroken. She was such a gift," Pastor Scruggs told members of the media shortly after the shooting. "Through tears, we trust that she is in the arms of Jesus who will raise her to life once again."
Hallie was one of six people killed on Monday during the mass shooting at the southwest Nashville school. Other victims identified are Evelyn Dieckhaus and William Kinney, both age 9, and adults Cynthia Peak, 61, Katherine Koonce, 60, and Mike Hill, 61.
The Park Cities Presbyterian Church in Dallas, Chad Scruggs' former church, held a special prayer service for the family and other victims of the tragedy on Tuesday.
Paul Goebel, an associate pastor at Park Cities Presbyterian, said Hallie's death has had a deep impact on the Dallas community. Goebel said he remembers Hallie as a "vibrant little girl who was well-loved and loved others." Members of the church have spoken to the Scruggs family, Goebel said.
"As you can imagine, this is a hard time. There's grief, but not without hope," Goebel said, noting the family's strong Christian beliefs.
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The Scruggs Family will hold a funeral service for Hallie on Saturday, April 1 at Covenant Presbyterian Church. The service will not be open to the public.
Frank Gluck is the health care reporter for The Tennessean. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter at @FrankGluck.
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This article originally appeared on Nashville Tennessean: Nashville shooting pastor's daughter Hallie Scruggs a vibrant child