Apr 3, 2023 - News

A promise after The Covenant School shooting: "We will not forget"

A woman looks on at the memorial for the Covenant School shooting victims at the Covenant School.

A memorial for The Covenant School shooting victims. Photo: Johnnie Izquierdo for The Washington Post via Getty Images

A week ago Monday, Nashville was forever changed when gunfire shattered the peace of a beautiful spring morning.

Six people, including three 9-year-olds, were killed during a mass shooting at The Covenant School in Green Hills.

  • Mayor John Cooper calls it the city's worst day.

It was the third high-profile mass shooting Nashville has faced in six years, following shootings at Burnette Chapel Church of Christ in 2017 and an Antioch Waffle House in 2018.

The Covenant School was seen as an oasis for about 200 students and their families. Parents at the tight-knit school said their children felt safe there.

  • The shooting unleashed tidal waves of grief, anger and despair.

Much remains unknown. Authorities said the shooter, who was killed by police, was a former student who intentionally targeted the school. They have yet to provide details about a motive.

As the city struggles to make sense of this senseless loss, Nashville has wrapped its arms around the families at the center of the tragedy.

  • Community members have knelt and prayed at a memorial featuring pictures of the victims. Some carried copies of those pictures as they cried out for changes from state lawmakers.
  • A fund started to support The Covenant School had raised more than $542,000 as of Saturday morning.

"A covenant is a promise," Metro Councilmember Russ Pulley said during a citywide vigil last week. Nashville, he said, "has already made one."

  • "A promise to stand with one another during this time and hold space in our hearts for our grief and our hope."

He read the names of the victims: the students Evelyn Dieckhaus, William Kinney and Hallie Scruggs, all 9 years old, and staff members Mike Hill, 61; Katherine Koonce, 60; and Cynthia Peak, 61.

"We will not forget them."


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