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A memorial at The Covenant School grew as the victims of the Nashville shooting mourned

A memorial at its gate Contract school In Nashville, Tennessee, the rising — filled with flowers, stuffed animals and balloons — honors the six people killed in Monday’s shooting, including three children.

“You’re just thinking: When’s the call coming for you? You know? And they’re kids. They’re kids. This shouldn’t have happened,” said Nashville resident Carolyn Lucas.

Authority Identified the victims 9-year-olds Evelyn Dickhouse, Haley Scruggs and William Kinney, as well as 61-year-old Cynthia Peek, 61-year-old Mike Hill and 60-year-old Catherine Koons, who were principals of The Covenant School.


Members of the Chosen First Motorcycle Club join others in prayer at a makeshift memorial for shooting victims on the Covenant School campus on March 28, 2023 in Nashville, Tennessee.

Brendan Smialowski

A former student of Koons’ at another school, Barrett Severance, described her as “a champion for all students” and someone full of life who “had so much more to give.”

“I’m representing a lot of people when I say that he often pulled us across the finish line after he left us,” Severance said.

Tricia Drake had known Koons professionally for several years. Upon hearing about the shooting, Drake said he hoped Koons would be at the center of the school’s response, saying he was completely dedicated to the community.

“I was just telling my friends, ‘I’m sure Catherine will come out. I’m sure Catherine will come out and tell everybody that everything is going to be all right.’ And I was waiting for it, and I was just stunned. Stunned,” Drake said.

Drake said his last conversation with Coons was about active shooter training, and he believes Coons would have done anything to save the children in his care.

Along with Koons, both Hill and Peake worked at the school. Hill served as a supervisor, and Peek was a substitute teacher.

In a video statement released Tuesday evening, Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee said his wife, Maria Lee, had been longtime friends with Coons and Peake. He said Peek was one of his wife’s best friends and he had plans to see Peek later that day.

“Cindy was supposed to come over to dinner with Maria last night, after she was admitted to the contract yesterday as a substitute teacher,” Lee said.

Investigators have found no evidence that the assailant specifically targeted any victims, and the motive for the shooting remains unknown.

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David Begnaud

David Begnaud

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