A student shot and killed at a private Christian school in Nashville on Monday was the daughter of its senior pastor, records and social media tributes reflect.
The student, one of six people killed alongside the shooter at the Covenant School, was identified by police as Hallie Scruggs. Her father is Chad Scruggs, Covenant Presbyterian Church’s pastor, the Nashville Presbytery confirmed to CBS News.
Hallie was the Scruggs family’s youngest child, according to a memorial post by a self-described sister church, Redeemer Presbyterian Church. The post said that Chad Scruggs had graduated from Presbyterian Church in America’s Covenant Theological Seminary with a master of divinity degree in 2007.
According to its website, the Covenant School was founded in 2001 as a ministry of the church, and the two share an address. Chad Scruggs, who did not immediately return a request for comment by The Daily Beast, is also identified as an ex-officio member of the school’s board of trustees on the site.
The other ex-officio member of the board listed is Katherine Koonce, the 60-year-old school head and another victim of Monday’s shooting.
A friend of Koonce’s, Diane Button, wrote in a text to The Daily Beast, “You could always count on Katherine to show up with her giant heart and her brilliant mind. There is no doubt in my mind that she died while giving herself wholeheartedly to those children and co-workers she loved so much.”
“Katherine was a role model to me,” Button wrote. “She was as solid as a friend could be. Her faith was her foundation. Her family was her greatest love, yet she always wanted to work and give back so other families and children could also feel loved and cared for.”
The other fatally wounded victims were two other 9-year-olds, identified as Evelyn Dieckhaus and William Kinney, as well as two other staff members: 61-year-old custodian Mike Hall and 61-year-old substitute teacher Cynthia Peak.
The shooter, 28-year-old Audrey Hale of Nashville, was killed by police, the Metropolitan Nashville Police Department said. The suspect was armed with two assault-style weapons and a handgun. At least two of those weapons appeared to have been purchased legally in the Nashville area, police said.
The Covenant School was founded in 2001 and employs 33 teachers to serve around 200 students in preschool through 6th grade.