Nashville school shooting updates: Vigils held after Covenant School shooting; first footage released

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Metro Nashville Police say a former student carrying two assault rifles and a handgun killed three students and three adults at The Covenant School in Nashville on Monday, March 27.

Police identified the shooting suspect by his name at birth, Audrey Hale, and did not provide another name. He was a transgender man who used male pronouns, according to police. Authorities initially identified him as a woman. They say he entered the school through a side entrance and began shooting.

Shortly before 10:30 a.m., police responded to the school and were able to locate the suspect on the second floor of the school in a lobby where they fatally shot him.

Follow along in our new blog for updates in this developing story.

First footage from school released

MNPD released the first footage of Monday's shooting, showing surveillance footage of Hale shooting into glass doors to make entry into the school.

Hale is seen walking the hallways carrying and aiming an assault rifle before the video cuts off.

Covenant School issues statement

The school issued the following statement:

"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.

Law enforcement is conducting its investigation, and while we understand there is a lot of interest and there will be a lot of discussion about and speculation surrounding what happened, we will continue to prioritize the well-being of our community.

We appreciate the outpouring of support we have received, and we are tremendously grateful to the first responders who acted quickly to protect our students, faculty and staff.

We ask for privacy as our community grapples with this terrible tragedy - for our students, parents, faculty and staff."

Hale fired on police as they arrived

As police arrived, Hale fired a number of rounds at police from a second story window, according to police. Police said he had "significant ammunition" and three guns.

MNPD named Rex Englebert, a four-year veteran, and Michael Collazo, a nine-year veteran, as the two officers who fatally shot Hale.

A search warrant at Hale's home resulted in the seizure of a saw-off shotgun, a second shotgun and other evidence.

Flags at half staff

Following the tragedy of Monday's mass shooting at Covenant School, President Joe Biden ordered flags be flown at half staff at the White House and all other public buildings until sunset March 31.

Uvalde parents speak out against Nashville school shooting

Parents of victims in the Uvalde school shooting shared their thoughts in the San Antonio Express-News.

“Our kids aren’t safe. Schools aren’t safe,” tweeted Kimberly Garcia, who lost her 10-year-old daughter, Amerie Jo Garza, in Uvalde. “My daughter wasn’t safe, her life was taken from her. My son isn’t safe and it keeps me up all night. How am I supposed to be OK with leaving him at school? There’s no way.”

Lives Robbed, a nonprofit formed by relatives of Uvalde victims, said the pain for families is just beginning.

“We are tired,” the group tweeted Monday. “We know that, for the families of the victims at Covenant, this hell is just beginning. We are with you. This is why we fight for change.”

Monday's shooting made Galdys Gonzalez feel numb, after experience the pain of the Uvalde shooting.

“Sadly, we all knew this would happen,” she said. “But there’s no getting used to this. When will it ever be enough? Tennessee, our hearts go out to you," Gonzalez, the mother of 10-year-old survivor Caitlyne Gonzalez said.

Through tears and a shaky voice: The story of Evelyn Dieckhaus

At the end of a vigil at Woodmont Christian Church, senior minister Clay Stauffer shared through tears and a shaky voice a story of Evelyn Dieckhaus.Evelyn was a third grader at Covenant.Her sister, a fifth grader, is a member of the disciples class at Woodmont with plans of being baptized in a couple of weeks.Evelyn’s sister cried as she said, “I don’t want to be an only child.”The Woodmont Christian Church will organize a fund for the affected families as a way to help with counseling costs.

Christ Presbyterian Church vigil

Soft music played as people shuffled into pews at Christ Presbyterian Church, 2323 Old Hickory Boulevard, for Monday night’s prayer vigil.Hundreds of people gathered by 6:30 p.m., when the vigil was scheduled to begin. Organizers placed bottles of water and boxes of tissues at the entrance to the sanctuary.Gentle chatter punctuated the air as congregants waited.

Vigils begin to mourn Nashville shooting victims

A box of tissues sat at the end of each pew at Woodmont Christian Church Monday night.

A group of people stood at the entrance greeting people as they came in with tears rolling down their cheeks.

Candles were lit, the crowd was hushed, as Nashvillians began the long process of grieving Monday's shooting of three children and three adults at Covenant School.

Some guests came alone, others with families clutching them. But they all shared a solemn glare.

Lauren Daigle postpones concert, pivots to prayer vigil

In light of the mass shooting at Covenant School, Lauren Daigle’s exclusive album preview concert, originally scheduled for Monday night, was postponed. The event has been rescheduled to Wednesday, April 5. All tickets for the original date will be honored.

In place of the album preview, Daigle will hold a community prayer vigil, at 7:30 p.m. Monday at Marathon Music Works, 1402 Clinton St.

Giving help to families of Covenant School

"The Community Foundation of Middle Tennessee is heartbroken by the horrific and senseless shooting that took place on Monday, March 27 at The Covenant School here in Nashville. Because of the outpouring of love from our generous and thoughtful community, we have established the Caring for Covenant Fund to manage the donations made in response to this tragedy," Hal Cato, CEO, The Community Foundation of Middle Tennessee said in a statement.

Gifts can be made to the Fund at

All donations made to the Fund, minus credit card fees, will be directed to The Covenant School to support the healing of those affected by this tragedy. Together, we will send a message of love and compassion to the entire Covenant community.

Police body camera footage could be released by Tuesday

MNPD spokesperson Don Aaron said police will remain at the scene processing evidence.

Aaron said body cam footage of the police response to the mass shooting will be released either Monday evening or Tuesday.

Honoring those killed in the Covenant School shooting

Several vigils will be held Monday to honor the three children and three adults killed in the mass shooting at Covenant School in Nashville.

Here is a list of vigils planned Monday evening across Nashville:

  • 6 p.m. Bethlehem UMC, 2419 Bethlehem Loop Road

  • 6 p.m. Woodmont Christian 3601 Hillsboro Pike

  • 6:30 p.m. Christ Presbyterian Church, 2323 Old Hickory Boulevard.

  • 6:30 p.m. Christ UMC, 508 Franklin Rd., Franklin

  • 6:30 p.m. Belmont UMC, 2007 Acklen Ave.

  • 7 p.m. Lipscomb University will hold a vigil at Bison Square on campus

  • 7:30 p.m. Church of the City at Rocketown 601 4th Ave S.

Vigils planned Tuesday

  • 4 p.m. Davidson Academy prayer garden, 1414 Old Hickory Blvd.

Police: Covenant School shooting suspect targeted another school

Another Nashville location was mentioned, but Hale's threat assessment of that location, police believe, determined there was too much security. Police are continuing that investigation as well. The location was not provided.

Nashville police find manifesto, plan

Police chief John Drake said during a search of a Brightwood Avenue home, investigators found a 'manifesto' and plan after making contact with Hale's father at the residence.

Hale, who police say acted alone, had no prior criminal history. Two of the three guns used by Hale were obtained locally, according to police.

Nashville school shooting suspect identified

Police identified the shooter by his name at birth, Audrey Hale, 28, and did not provide another name. He was a transgender man who used male pronouns.

Police determined maps were drawn of school with surveillance and entry points.

He shot through one of the doors to enter school, police say.

Nashville sports stars heartbroken after shooting

The Tennessee Titans on Monday released a statement via Twitter offering condolences "to the families and friends of the victims, and the entire Covenant School community."

Several Titans players, including running back Derrick Henry, released statements of anguish.

"I am heartbroken and sick over the lives lost today," Henry wrote.

Nashville SC midfielder Dax McCarty said in a tweet he drives by The Covenant School every day on the way to training.

"It's easy to wallow in your own misery after a bad game or a bad day, but news like this hits you in the chest like a freight train and you realize how trivial those feelings are," McCarty wrote. "Devastated for those families and our community."

Nashville school shooting victims identified

The six victims fatally shot by the active shooter at Covenant School are identified as: Evelyn Dieckhaus, Hallie Scruggs, and William Kinney, all age 9, Cynthia Peak, age 61, Katherine Koonce, age 60, and Mike Hill, age 61.

Koonce was the headmaster at the school.

About the neighborhood where shooting happened

The community where Covenant School is located is one of the most affluent in Tennessee. It incorporates the towns of Green Hills, Belle Meade and Forest Hills, as well as areas in Williamson County.

The private Christian school’s zip code of 37215 has one of the state’s highest average household incomes, and enjoys bustling retail districts.

In 2020, the 37215 zip code ranked the area as the most expensive place to buy a home with a median home sale price of $719,000.

Families speeding to Vanderbilt University Medical Center

Shortly following the shooting, a heavy vehicle presence could be seen as ambulances and police vehicles flooded Vanderbilt University Medical Center. Throughout the afternoon, parents and family members could be seen speeding into the Children’s Emergency Center, ushered in by metro police.

Some could be seen clutching tissues and phones as they ran into the facility, and the wails of family members could be heard echoing through the parking lot.

By 3:45 p.m., Vanderbilt spokespersons could not reveal the number of young victims in the facility.

Raid on nearby home follows after shooting investigation

Police and at least one FBI agent cordoned off a section of Brightwood Avenue and went in and out of a Tudor style home in the 3000 block about 3 p.m. Monday. The home is located three miles from the school. Neighbors clumped together and chatted back and forth watching the police activity.Bowen Satterfield, 16, was at his house nearby when he heard a loud bang about 1:30 p.m.“I thought something was wrong at the church,” he said. “Then I heard it again.”

More: What we know about The Covenant School shooting in Nashville

Satterfield said he called his friend, Drew. Together they ventured out to investigate and found dozens of police at the home.“I’ve never seen anything like this,” 18-year-old Drew Thornton said. “It’s a quiet neighborhood.”

Nashville shooting suspect believed to be former student

MNPD chief John Drake originally the shooting suspect was a former student at The Covenant School.

Police say the shooter entered the building from a side door and opened fire on the first floor. Within 14 minutes, a team of five officers followed sounds of gunfire to a second floor lobby where they fatally shot the suspect.

Prior to being shot, the mass shooter killed three children and three adults, police say.

This article originally appeared on Nashville Tennessean: Nashville shooting: Footage released showing suspect enter school