Members Of Country Music Community Share Thoughts & Prayers Following Nashville School Shooting

“Absolutely devastating…”


Madeleine O’Connell

| Posted on

March 27, 2023


4:59 pm

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Covenant School; Photo Courtesy Metro Nashville Police Dept

On Monday, March 27, tragedy struck The Covenant School, a private Christian school in Nashville, TN, when a 28-year-old Nashville resident entered through the side of the school and gunned down three adults and three children.

In the afternoon presser, the Metro Nashville Police confirmed that the shooter is Audrey Elizabeth Hale, who identifies as transgender. While the motive behind the shooter is still being investigated, it is believed that Hale was a former student at the school.

According to NBC News, Police revealed that the first calls regarding the shooter were made at 10:13 a.m. CT. Once on site, shots were heard coming from the second level of the school. Officials also shared that the gunman was armed with at least two assault-style rifles and a handgun

“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.” 

“By 10:27 the shooter was deceased,” Aaron confirmed.

Nashville PD recently revealed the six victims fatally shot as: Evelyn Dieckhaus, 9, Hallie Scruggs, 9, William Kinney, 9, Cynthia Peak, 61, Katherine Koonce, 60, and Mike Hill, 61.

After the devastating news began to circulate online, many country music artists took to social media to share their thoughts and prayers surrounding the events that took place in the Nashville community on Monday.

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

“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 also shared.

“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.”

Ruston Kelly shared his desperate desire to see change on Twitter as he said, “Nashville I can’t believe this yet it continues to happen. What’s it going to fucking 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?”

Cassadee Pope also shared the magnitude of her anger when she wrote, “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?”

This news has proven to be especially difficult for those who have children of their own, like Mickey Guyton, Jason Crabb, Sheryl Crow, Maren Morris and her husband, Ryan Hurd, and so many more.

“I try to stay off here for my mental health but for the love of God! As a mother, I’m pissed the fuck off,” Guyton wrote. “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.”

Crabb said, “As a father, I can’t imagine the pain of those affected today. 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.”

“No words… The Covenant School. Our children deserve better. Praying for all affected. Tragic America,” Crow added on Twitter.

With their son, Hayes, in mind, Morris shared Hurd’s post as it held an incredible amount of grief and disappointment.

He wrote, “I don’t even know what to say. I have been in tears all day. This is our back yard. 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. I am just so sad. I 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.”

Jessie James Decker, mom of three young kids, felt especially shaken up from what unfolded at the school, seeing as it took place only two miles from her Tennessee home. She took to her Instagram stories to share a tearful response with her followers.

“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,” she 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?”

“God Bless all the parents of children at The Covenant School. Horrific and sickening,” shared Randy Houser.

“I am so saddened to learn of the senseless and tragic school shooting in Nashville today. My heart and my prayers go out to all those suffering,” said Ty Herndon.

Breland shared, “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?? 💔”

“Pray for Nashville. A shooting at a school has occurred. Three children dead. Praying for these babies & their families. Absolutely devastating 💔,” said Carly Pearce.

“May the Lord bless these heroes and may he provide comfort and strength to those affected and those tragically lost. It’s time to come together Nashville,” the duo Southerland said in response to the actions by the Metro Nashville PD officers.

“My heart is broken and prayers for all involved in todays horrible school shooting in Nashville,” said Chris Janson.

Priscilla Block said, “I have no words right now. My prayers are with my Nashville community and everything family affected by today’s tragedy. Something HAS to change. Schools 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. Gosh, my heart hearts.

Priscilla Block - Instagram Stories
Priscilla Block – Instagram Stories

“Praying for the families impacted by the shooting in our own damn backyard today,” wrote Ashley Cooke.

“💔 Thankful to the police who acted quickly and stopped the shooter, but I would love a similarly swift response from legislators on gun control..but we’ve been here before,” Maggie Rose shared alongside a video response, which also noted the efforts of the recent new legislation signed into law by Tennessee Governor Bill Lee regarding the banning of drag performances.

She added, “To ALL the children in TN and America, you are loved and I’m sorry we keep failing you.”

The Covenant School on Burton Hills Boulevard provides education for students in preschool through sixth grade. These students were bussed to a safe location, just two miles away, where they were reunited with their parents.

The Tennessean reported that this most recent mass shooting “is believed to be the fifth in the Nashville area since 2011, and first since 2018.”

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Madeleine O’Connell graduated from North Central College with a bachelors degree in Journalism and Broadcast Communications before deciding to pursue her studies further at DePaul University. There, she earned her masters degree in Digital Communication & Media Arts. O’Connell served as a freelance writer for over two years while also interning with the Academy of Country Music, SiriusXM and Circle Media and assisting with Amazon Music’s Country Heat Weekly podcast. In addition to Country Now, she has been published in American Songwriter, Music Mayhem, and Holler.Country. Madeleine O’Connell is a member of the Country Music Association and the Academy of Country Music.