Former Dallas pastor’s daughter among children killed in Nashville school shooting

One of the three children killed in a shooting Monday at The Covenant School in Nashville was the 9-year-old daughter of a former Dallas pastor.

In a statement on its website, Park Cities Presbyterian Church in Dallas said that Chad Scruggs, current lead pastor at Covenant Presbyterian Church in Nashville, served for several years as associate pastor at the Dallas church.

His daughter Hallie Scruggs was identified as one of the Nashville shooting victims, along with two other 9-year-olds, Evelyn Dieckhaus and William Kinney. Three adults — substitute teacher Cynthia Peak, 61; head of school Katherine Koonce, 60; and custodian Mike Hill, 61 — also were killed by the shooter. The suspect, identified as 28-year-old former student Audrey Hale, was fatally shot by police.

The Park Cities Presbyterian Church “family is incredibly saddened by the unimaginable tragedy today at Covenant Presbyterian School in Nashville,” the Dallas church said in a statement. Covenant Presbyterian Church is a sister church of Park Cities Presbyterian and “many of our members have deep friendships and family connections there,” the statement said.

“We weep deeply for the unimaginable sorrow that our friends at Covenant Presbyterian Church and School are suffering and will continue to suffer,” Park Cities Associate Pastor Paul Goebel said. “As brothers and sisters in Christ, we will suffer alongside our friends and grieve together, but not as those without the hope of Jesus.”

At noon Tuesday, Park Cities will hold a time of prayer in its sanctuary, at 4124 Oak Lawn Ave., for Covenant Presbyterian Church in Nashville. Child care will be available.

“We love the Scruggs family and mourn with them over their precious daughter Hallie,” Park Cities Senior Pastor Mark Davis said. “Together, we trust in the power of Christ to draw near and give us the comfort and hope we desperately need.”