(CNN) Another American community is in retreat The shooter was killed Three 9-year-old boys and three adults at a private Christian elementary school in Nashville.
Monday’s attack was the deadliest school shooting in the United States In almost a year And the 19th shooting at a school or university so far in 2023 has injured at least one person, CNN’s tally shows.
“Our community is heartbroken,” Covenant Presbyterian Church’s ministry said in a statement, thanking first responders for their quick response and showing support for the school.
“We are experiencing a tremendous loss and are still reeling from the horror that has torn apart our school and church. We are focused on loving our students, our families, our faculty and staff and beginning the healing process,” the school said.
“Across Tennessee was hurt yesterday,” Gov. Bill Lee said in a video statement released Tuesday night.
Here’s what we know so far about the victims:
Police said Evelyn was 9 years old. According to a family statement obtained by CNN affiliate KMOV, while her family appreciates the love and support they have received, they are asking for space to grieve.
“Our hearts are completely broken. We cannot believe this has happened,” the statement said. “Evelyn is a bright light in this world.”
Hill, 61, was a beloved custodian at the school, police said, and a father of seven.
Hill, known as “Big Mike” to students, was a member of the facilities/kitchen staff, according to the school’s website.
According to the family statement received by the employee, he liked to cook and spend time with his family CNN affiliate WSMV. He had 14 grandchildren.
“We want to thank the Nashville community for their continued thoughts and prayers. We grieve and try to understand any feelings of understanding why this happened, and we continue to ask for support,” the statement said.
“We pray for Covenant School and are so grateful that Michael is loved by the teachers and students who filled him with joy for 14 years,” it added.
Created by Nashville Parents A GoFundMe page To help Hill’s family with funeral expenses.
“For his family, he was very happy and found great joy in his work and through those students,” the GoFundMe added.
His daughter, Brittany Hill, said in a Facebook post on Monday that her father “absolutely loved” his job.
“I’ve seen school shootings over the years, and I never thought I’d lose someone I love because of a person trying to solve a temporary problem with a permanent solution,” he said. “I am very sorry for the loss of those children,” he added.
“Please keep my family in your prayers tonight. Hug your parents and children a little tighter.”
Police said Coons is 60 years old and is the head of the school.
He attended Vanderbilt University and Trevecca Nazarene University in Nashville and earned a master’s degree from Georgia State University, the school said.
Koons’ friends and former colleagues, Kim and Monica Lee, spoke to reporters Tuesday about his dedication.
“He gave his life because he was trying to protect students and protect teachers,” Kim Lee said.
They said the academic had a great sense of humor and self-confidence. Koons exuded humility and made everyone he came in contact with feel important, Kim Lee said.
“Rather than her kneeling down and talking to a preschooler, she can turn around and talk to a board member, turn around and meet an angry parent, and meet a teacher having a bad day,” he added.
Peek, 61, was a substitute teacher at the school, police and officials said.
Tennessee Governor Bill Lee has spoken about his close relationship with his wife, Maria Peake.
The teacher was to come to Lee’s house for dinner on Monday evening.
“Maria woke up this morning without one of her best friends,” Lee said.
“Cindy and Maria and Catherine Coons were both teachers at the same school and family friends for decades,” Lee said.
“There will be a time to talk about the legislation and the budget proposals that we’ve come up with this year. And clearly, there’s still a lot of work to be done,” he said Tuesday night.
“There is hope in the midst of great sadness because God is the Redeemer. What is meant by evil can be turned into good. We will grieve in the days to come, but not without hope. We will also act with wisdom, prudence, and discretion. We will be merciful and we will love, especially those who are lost,” Lee said in his said in a video message.
Louisiana State Rep. Charles Anthony Owen told CNN he’s been peaking his whole life. His hometown of Leesville, Louisiana, is in mourning, Owen said.
“She and my sister were the closest of friends growing up, and it seems like Cindy was there for my entire childhood,” she said in a Facebook post on Tuesday. “She and May Ann had birthdays a day apart and her family lived across the street from us. Cindy and May were always together.”
Owen wrote that Peek was one of the first faces he saw when May passed. “She was here to upset her old friend,” he said.
Hallie is 9 years old and the daughter of Chad Scruggs, lead pastor of Covenant Presbyterian Church, police said. According to a report Scruggs was previously served by Park Cities Presbyterian Church in Dallas.
“We love the Scruggs family and grieve with them for their precious daughter, Hallie,” said Mark Davis, senior pastor of the Texas congregation.
Another life was taken
William Kinney, 9, was also killed, police said.
This is a developing story and will be updated.
CNN’s Amanda Jackson, Jameel Lynch, Talia Miller, Jillian Sykes and Sarah Dewberry contributed to this report.
“Lifelong social media lover. Falls down a lot. Creator. Devoted food aficionado. Explorer. Typical troublemaker.”