Country Singers Speak Out And Express Heartache After Tragic Nashville School Shooting

“My prayers are with my Nashville Community and every family affected by today’s tragedy…”


Maren Angus-Coombs


Posted on March 27, 2023

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Covenant School; Photo Courtesy Metro Nashville Police Dept

Tragedy struck in Nashville on Monday, March 27. The Covenant School, a private Christian school, was the site of a mass shooting that left three children and three adults dead.

Metro Nashville Police confirmed the identity of the shooter as Audrey Elizabeth Hale, who identifies as transgender. The motive behind the shooting is still an ongoing investigation. The shooter was armed with two assault-style rifles and a handgun. Hale is believed to be a former student at the school.

The morning’s first calls regarding the shooter were made at 10:13 a.m.

“The police department response was swift,” police spokesperson Don Aaron told reporters. “They heard shots coming from the second level. They immediately went to the gunfire. When the officers got to the second level, they saw a shooter, a female, who was firing. The officers engaged her. She was fatally shot by responding police officers.”

Aaron confirmed the shooter was deceased by 10:27 a.m. The identities of the victims were released Monday afternoon: Evelyn Dieckhaus, 9, Hallie Scruggs, 9, William Kinney, 9, Cynthia Peak, 61, Katherine Koonce, 60, and Mike Hill, 61.

It should be noted that one child is eight about to turn nine but the information regarding the specific child has not been released.

Koonce was the Head of School and Scruggs is the daughter of Chad Scruggs, Pastor of Covenant Presbyterian Church.

According to The Tennessean, this school shoot is “believed to be the fifth in the Nashville area since 2011, and the first since 2018.”

As news of the shooting broke, members of the country music community took to social to offer their thoughts and prayers. 

“Nashville I can’t believe this yet it continues to happen. What’s it going to f***ing take? Thinking of the families who suffered undue and avoidable grief and loss today is an important sentiment, but it is not enough. Something has to change is it not more obvious than ever?” Ruston Kelly shared, begging for change.

“I heard the sirens, & didn’t know until the calls started coming in,” Stephanie Quayle revealed. “My heart is in a million pieces for these families who lost their loved ones today in Nashville. 3 children, 3 adults & the female teenage shooter are deceased. So grateful to our first responders.”

“I’m sick to my stomach. These were babies. To what extent will we continue to protect our “precious” guns? How is this still happening?” Cassadee Pope wrote.

“I have no words right now,” Priscilla Block wrote in her Instagram Story. “My prayers are with my Nashville Community and every family affected by today’s tragedy. Something HAS to change. School should be a safe place for our teachers and children. This world is getting scary. Hug your people a little tighter and a little longer (blue heart emoji) gosh… my heart hurts.”

Courtesy of Priscilla Block/Instagram
Courtesy of Priscilla Block/Instagram

“I try to stay off here for my mental health but for the love of God!” Mickey Guyton said on Twitter. “As a mother, I’m pissed the f**k off. Shame on every single politician ok with doing nothing as CHILDREN are getting assassinated on an everyday basis in a place that is supposed to be their safe haven.”

“As a new resident of Nashville, I’m beyond saddened at the events of today. I pray for all the victims and families involved. Today, it feels as if Nashville lost its innocence,” Kristin Chenoweth commented.

“Today we were punched in the gut yet again with the realization of how precious this life is and how little control we have over it,” NEEDTOBREATHE wrote. “We are absolutely heartbroken for the families involved and for the conversations that we will all have with our children tonight about it. There is no way to explain the unthinkable. Our prayers are with you tonight Nashville.”

Today we were punched in the gut yet again with the realization of how precious this life is and how little control we…

Posted by NEEDTOBREATHE on Monday, March 27, 2023

Carly Pearce tweeted, “Pray for Nashville. A shooting at a school has occurred. Three children dead. Praying for these babies & their families. Absolutely devastating (broken heart emoji).”

“Seeing news of this school shooting in Nashville…I’m heartbroken. No family should have to deal with this. How can we ensure these atrocities don’t happen?? 💔” BRELAND said.

“We are praying with our Nashville community for everyone involved in today’s horrific shooting,” tweeted Brett Young. 

“No words… The Covenant School. Our children deserve better. Praying for all affected. Tragic America.” Sheryl Crow shared.

“As a father, I can’t imagine the pain of those affected today,” Jason Crabb added. “We send our kids to school thinking that everything is going to be ok, never expecting something like this. Father God, we need you. Please pray for all those affected by this horrendous tragedy at Covenant School.”

Maren Morris shared a post from her husband, Ryan Hurd, expressing his sadness with his son, Hayes, in mind.

“I don’t even know what to say,” he said. “I have been in tears all day. This is our backyard. I don’t know if I know these people but I know they are at the very least friends of friends without even knowing their names. For 6 families, ‘Could have been worse’ is just not true. We are heartbroken. I just want to hug these families. Cry with them. I pray and mourn with them… am just so sad…. feel helpless. I hold them up in love and also rage. There are kids who will never come home and I cannot handle that. Beautiful, sweet babies who are learning cursive and playing soccer on the weekends. I am so sorry and so sad. I don’t know how to wrap this up because there is no wrapping it up. Love to each and every one of you. May you know what it means to be loved and to be safe. I love you.”

“A lot of you are messaging and it’s not my kid’s school, but it’s only two miles up the road. It’s in our town, it’s in our community, and it’s just awful. I’m just heartbroken for these families,” Jessie James Decker said. “Please pray so hard for these families and this community. This just should not be happening. I went and picked the kids up immediately and they’re home safe…what is happening in the world?”

The Covenant School is located on Burton Hills Boulevard in the Green Hills neighborhood. It provides education for preschool through sixth grade. 

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