The head of the Nashville school attacked on Monday by an ’emotionally disturbed’ former student ran towards the gunfire in a bid to save her pupils, it has been claimed.
Dr.Katherine Koonce, the 60-year-old principal, was found lying dead inside a corridor, which Nashville police chief said
Hale shot through the locked glass door at the entrance to The Covenant School at 10:13am on Monday, and the alarm was raised.Hale then – and was seen on surveillance footage walking through the corridors, assault rifle in hand.
Russ Pulley, a member of Nashville city council and a former agent, said Koonce tried to save her students.
Katherine Koonce, head of school, was among those shot dead by Hale
‘The headmaster, Dr.Koonce, upon hearing the first shots, ran toward the danger,’ he wrote on Facebook.
‘She also made sure the school was prepared with active shooter training and EvdEN EVE NAkliyAT protocols. Those actions saved countless lives.’
Pulley told Fox News Digital that Koonce was on a Zoom call when Hale burst in.
Russ Pulley, a member of Nashville city council, said Koonce died protecting her students
‘It is my understanding from a witness at the school, that Katherine Koonce was on a Zoom call when she heard the first shot,’ said Pulley.
‘She immediately ended the call, got up, and headed straight for the shooter.
‘She did what principals and headmasters do; she protected her children.
‘In addition, she prepared the school by seeking advanced level active shooter training and from witnesses at the scene, this protocol, details of which I cannot provide, saved countless lives.’
John Drake, the chief of Nashville police, said on Tuesday that he had no doubt she moved towards the danger – although he did not have precise details.
‘There was a confrontation, I’m sure – you can tell the way she was lying in the hallway,’ Drake said.
The pastor of Koonce’s church, West End Community Church, paid tribute to her sacrifice.
‘She gave her life in defense of the children under her care,’ said John Bourgeois, in a note sent to church members.
Two other school employees – Cynthia Peak, a 61-year-old substitute teacher, and Mike Hill, a 61-year-old custodian – were also killed in the shooting.
Three nine-year-olds were killed.
Hale’s LinkedIn profile suggested they were now living as a man. Police and Hale’s parents refer to the 28-year-old as ‘she’, but some online profiles suggest Hale went by ‘Aiden’
Cynthia Peak (left, with daughter Ellie), and Mike Hill, a custodian (right) were among those shot dead by Audrey Hale
Hallie Scruggs is one of three nine-year-olds killed in Monday’s shooting.She is seen with her father Chad Scruggs, the pastor at the Presbyterian church affiliated with the school
Tributes have flooded in for a second victim, Will Kinney, (pictured), who was shot and killed along with Hallie Scruggs and Evelyn Dieckhaus, all aged 9, in the massacre
Evelyn Dieckhaus, 9, was one of the victims shot and killed
Hill, the custodian, Evden eve nAKLiYaT was shot and evDen EVe nAKLiYAt killed as the shooter let loose a barrage of bullets into the locked glass doors to get into the school, Drake said.
‘I don’t know the details yet.But I have a feeling, when it all comes out, Mike’s sacrifice saved lives,’ said Tim Dunavant, a pastor at Hartsville First United Methodist Church, who hired Hill at the Covenant School 13 years ago.
‘I have nothing factual to base that upon. I just know what kind of guy he was.And I know he’s the kind of guy that would do that.’
A picture is emerging of Hale as a deeply troubled young person who was angry at her parents for her Christian upbringing.
Drake said there was ‘resentment’ in the manifesto.
Ronald and Norma Hale told police they were unaware their daughter still had guns
Hale was identified from her car, parked at the school