TN Gov. Points to Faith Amid Nashville School Shooting Tragedy: 'God Is a Redeemer'
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As Nashville grieves the loss of those killed in this week's tragic school shooting, new details are emerging about the timeline of the shooting and the rapid police response.
On Wednesday night, the community came together for a vigil to honor the six who were killed:
- Evelyn Dieckhaus, 9 years old
- William Kenney, 9 years old
- Hallie Scruggs, 9 years old
- Mike Hill, school custodian
- Katherine Koonce, school headmaster
- Cynthia Peak, substitute teacher
First Lady Jill Biden, singer Cheryl Crow and city leaders were among those there.
The parents of nine-year-old Evelyn Dieckhaus also released a photo overnight saying they're "overwhelmed" by the outpouring of "love and support."
Evelyn Dieckhaus, a student at The Covenant School in Nashville, Tenn. Dieckhaus was one of six people killed on Monday, March 27, 2023, in the shooting at the school. (Handout via AP)
Details About the Timeline and the Shooter
Meanwhile, new details are coming to light about the timeline of the shooting and just how quickly Nashville police responded.
Officers arrived eight minutes after the first call came in. Two minutes after arriving, they entered the school. And just another two minutes later, they found the shooter, Audrey Hale, and took her out.
Authorities are still investigating the former student's motive, but they have revealed that Hale identified as transgender, and other news outlets have reported that was a source of conflict.
Nashville police say Hale's parents were shocked to learn she was hiding seven guns in their home, including three used at the Covenant School. All were bought legally.
Hale's parents also say she was under a doctor's care for an emotional disorder.
School surveillance video shows Hale pulling up to the school and passing children playing outside. Those students were able to escape to safety by running across the street into the nearby woods.
TN Gov. Points to Importance of Faith
Meanwhile, as the community continues to grieve, Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee is encouraging his state to lean into faith.
"There is hope in the midst of great tragedy because God is a redeemer," Lee said in a video statement. "What is meant for evil can be turned for good. May we grieve in the days ahead but not without hope."
The governor also revealed that his wife had been friends with two of the victims for decades: School administrator Katherine Koonce and substitute teacher Cynthia Peak.
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