The principal of Covenant School in Nashville, Dr. Katherine Koonce, tragically lost her life while trying to save others during the school shooting that took place on March 27.
The shooting resulted in the deaths of six people, three of whom were nine years old. Audrey Hale, a 28-year-old former student at the school, carried out the attack.
According to CBS News, police believe that Hale had some resentment for having to attend that school.
Nashville Police Chief John Drake believes that Dr. Koonce lost her life while confronting the shooter, Audrey Hale.
Her body was found in a corridor. A former member of Nashville city council and FBI agent, Russ Pulley, believed that Dr. Koonce lost her life while attempting to save the children at the school.
Pulley wrote on Facebook, “The headmaster, Dr. Koonce, upon hearing the first shots, ran toward the danger. She also made sure the school was prepared with active shooter training and protocols. Those actions saved countless lives.”
BBC News reported that one parent who has two children at the school described Dr. Koonce as “a saint”. “She did so much for those kids,” the parent said. “And now gave her life protecting them.”
The mother added, “She knew every single student by name. She did everything to help them when families couldn’t afford things; it didn’t matter. She found ways for them to stay.”
Dean Russ Crowe, a friend of Dr. Koonce, took to Facebook where he penned: “Today is such a tragedy. I know [Katherine’s] entrance into heaven was abundant. But here we on earth we are devastated. Please pray for her husband and family. And for all the families who thought today was just another Monday and counting down to Spring Break. It’s just horrible.”
The other victims of the shooting have been identified as Evelyn Dieckhaus, Hallie Scruggs, and William Kinney, all aged nine, Cynthia Peak, aged 61, and Mike Hill, aged 61.
The loss of life has caused immense grief and heartache for the families of the victims, the school, and the wider community.
The heroic actions of Dr. Koonce have not gone unnoticed. Pulley and others have praised her bravery and selflessness, which saved countless lives.
It is a tragic reminder of the importance of active shooter training and protocols and the heroism of those who put themselves in harm’s way to protect others.
The Covenant School community and the families of the victims will need all the support and prayers they can get during this difficult time.