First funeral linked to Nashville school shooting planned today, as police release terrifying 911 calls of assault


The first funeral connected to this week’s shooting death of three children and three adults at a private Christian school in Nashville was held on Friday, the day police were dispatched to a distressed 911 call reporting a shooting in the Tennessee city.

Evelyn Dieckhaus, 9, will be the first victim of Monday’s school shooting to have a funeral service, Friday afternoon at a Nashville church.

The shooter, a former student at Covenant School, also killed 9-year-old students William Kinney and Hallie Scruggs; Katherine Koonce, a 60-year-old high school principal; Cynthia Picus, 61-year-old substitute teacher; and Mike Hill, a 61-year-old male guard, before police shot and killed the shooter inside the school, authorities said.

On Thursday, Nashville police released the 911 calls that came from inside and outside the school as the crash unfolded.

Many of the callers spoke in hushed whispers, saying they were locked in their rooms and heard several gunshots in the school.

In one 911 call, a woman identified herself as a doctor as she desperately pleaded for help. “Send someone soon,” he whispered.

The letterman replied that the police were already at the school. “They will try you,” he said.

The teacher said she and 17 other children were in the room and were safe. The messenger warned him to confront the shooter and fight.

“Stay where you are and don’t come out until the police come, unless you have to run or fight, OK?” is sent with instructions.

Another caller, an adult man, said, “Oh my God. I am afraid that I will die, as he is locked in the office.

Meanwhile, Chad Scruggs – the senior pastor of the Presbyterian church associated with the school, and the father of one of the slain sons – also called 911.

Scruggs, who was not at school, sent a letter saying that he had received a call from people inside and that he was on his way to school. There was no indication in the call that the pastor knew his child was injured.

“You don’t want to go without a guard, sir. You must go somewhere else and wait for the police,” the messengers told him.

Called heartbroken at the terrifying moments, others have experienced on US school campuses, in a nation where research has recently found guns to be the leading cause of death for children and young people.

The attack was the 19th shooting at an American school or university in 2023 in which at least one person was wounded, according to CNN, and the deadliest since the May attack in Uvalde, Texas that left 21 dead.

Funerals for Hallie and Peak will be on Saturday, and William is scheduled for Sunday. Services for Hill and Koonce are set for Tuesday and Wednesday, respectively.

The 911 calls released for the shooter, identified as 28-year-old Audrey Hale, remain at large.

Although investigators continue to dig into a possible motive for the shooting, officials believe the attack was planned and calculated, officials said.

Hale is under the care of an emotional disorder doctor, Nashville Police Chief John Drake said earlier this week. Hale bought seven guns in the past three years, and they were kept by Hale’s parents, who lived in the same house, Drake said.

Police also recovered a notebook in which Hale wrote more about the crossings and detailed maps of Drake’s gymnasium, he said.

The FBI, the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation and police have been combing through the documents, Drake said. The documents are being released after investigators are done examining them, according to Nashville City Council member Robert Swope.

Police referred to Hale as a “female shooter” and later said Hale was transgender and used a male pronoun on social media.

Hale attended Nossi College of Art & Design and graduated last year, the school’s president told CNN. A LinkedIn profile indicates that Hala has worked as a graphic designer and part-time grocery store clerk.

Last year, Hale posted on Facebook about the death of a girl with whom Hale apparently played basketball and a request to refer to Aiden’s name and male pronouns, according to Mary Colomy, a teacher who taught Hale for two semesters. 2017

Cody, a former classmate at Hala’s art school, echoed those details to Rhoda, saying the volume of letters was significant enough to be noted.

“He must be their best friend,” said Cody, who asked to be identified by his first name only.

Cody said he thought Hale had “a weird childish obsession with being a boy.” Hale was saved and serious about her artwork, which was praised by teachers, she said.

“It couldn’t be more kid-friendly, family-friendly art, rated G, almost to the point of nausea,” and filled with “garish, bright colors,” Cody said.

Since the shooting, people have come to the Tennessee capitol, scores to advocate for gun control legislation.

Andrew Maraniss, who demonstrated at the Capitol Thursday and has children ages 9 and 12, spoke about the moment to protest safer gun laws.

“I felt like there was nothing more important to do this morning as a parent and a citizen than to have my voice heard and do my part to try to protect children,” Maraniss told CNN. “As parents, I think, we need to act as if any child was killed by the violence of a gun, his own child and according to the act.”

As the shooting unfolded inside The Alliance School, teachers followed a series of steps that prevented even more deaths, security consultant Brink Fidler told CNN.

“The doctors knew what to do, how to secure the doors and where to put their children in the rooms,” Fidler said.

“The ability to literally act under that amount of force while someone is trying to kill them and their children, that’s what made the difference here,” Fidler said.

“These teachers went to their families because of the kids,” he added.

Fidler spoke to Josh after doing a walk-through of the school with Nashville officials Wednesday. He said all of the victims were lying on the floor or in the court.

“Most (people) were able to leave safely. Those who couldn’t do it, they did it quite safely, which they learned and learned to do,” he said.

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Ava Grey

Hi there! I'm Ava Grey, an enthusiastic article writer with a passion for the arts, fashion, and staying informed about current events. As a journalism student at the New York Academy of Art, I'm driven to use my writing to create positive change and spark meaningful conversations. I'm particularly interested in contemporary art and sustainable fashion, and I love exploring how people use these mediums to express themselves and communicate their values. I believe that staying informed and hearing different perspectives is essential for personal growth and learning, and I'm always eager to engage in lively debates and discussions.

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