Hero schoolgirl died trying to pull fire alarm to stop Audrey Hale
PICTURED: Hero schoolgirl, 9, who died trying to pull fire alarm to stop trans shooter opening fire on her friends – as family say they are ‘completely broken’ by her death
- Evelyn Dieckhaus tried bravely to save her classmates by pulling the fire alarm at The Covenant Elementary School in Nashville
- The schoolgirl was described by her family as a ‘shining light’ and have been left ‘completely broken’ by her death
- Will Kinney, a third victim, has been described as being ‘adored’ by his entire family
A schoolgirl who was shot and killed while trying to pull the fire alarm to stop a transgender shooter from opening fire on her classmates has been pictured for the first time.
Evelyn Dieckhaus, 9, was one of the victims shot by Audrey Hale, 28, after she opened fire at the private Christian school on Monday.
Her family has described her as a ‘shining light’ and said that they are ‘completely broken’ by her death.
They added that she had been desperately trying to pull the fire alarm to get help when the shooting unfolded on Monday.
Tributes have flooded in for a second victim, Will Kinney, who was shot and killed along with Hallie Scruggs, both 9, in the massacre.
His family called him ‘unfailingly kind’ and ‘always inclusive of others’ as well as praising him for loving his two younger sisters.
Evelyn Dieckhaus, 9, was one of the victims shot by transgender shooter Audrey Hale, 28, after she opened fire at the private Christian school on Monday
Tributes have flooded in for a second victim, Will Kinney, (pictured) who was shot and killed along with Hallie Scruggs, both 9, in the massacre
A GoFundMe set up by a family friend of the Kinney’s said: Will had an unflappable spirit. He was unfailingly kind, gentle when the situation called for it, quick to laugh, and always inclusive of others.
‘He loved his sisters, adored his parents, grandparents, aunts and uncles, and was always excited to host friends of every age.
‘Sweet Will knew no strangers, and our hearts our broken for his family as they try to find their way forward.’
Headmistress Dr Katherine Koonce, 60, substitute teacher Cynthia Peak, 61, and chef Mike Hill, 61 were also killed in the mass shooting.
The daughter of Mike, who had worked at the school for more than a decade, said that she ‘never thought’ he would be killed in a mass shooting.
Brittany Hill posted online saying: ‘I have watched school shootings happen over the years and never thought I would lose a loved one over a person trying to solve a temporary problem with a permanent solution.
‘I will not say her name because I will not glorify her actions. I wish the media would not say her name ever again.
‘I am so sorry for the loss of those children seeing their names not called out safe was devastating as well as the chaplain telling me and my siblings and family this god awful news.’
Hallie Scruggs, 9, was killed in the shooting and is pictured with her father, a pastor at the church, Chad Scruggs
Katherine Koonce, head of school (left), and Cynthia Peak, a substitute teacher (right) were among those shot dead by Audrey Hale
The daughter of Mike Hill (pictured), who had worked at the school for more than a decade, said that she ‘never thought’ he would be killed in a mass shooting
His niece added that three other family members also worked at the school at the time of the shooting, but were not harmed.
Hale used the names Audrey and Aiden but her preferred pronouns were he/him according to a LinkedIn page.
Police confirmed on Tuesday that she had previously attended the school in Nashville, Tennessee, but her motive for the shooting was unclear.
Police Chief John Drake added that Hale had been suffering from an ’emotional disorder’ at the time of the shooting
Hale has been described as having ‘high-functioning’ autism, but police revealed today she also was under doctors’ care.
Hale was born female but had recently begun using he/him pronouns and the name ‘Aiden’
A spokesperson for the Nashville Metropolitan Police Department Monday night revealed that Officers Rex Engelbart (pictured left) and Michael Collazo (pictured right) were the members of the team who fired at Hale, ultimately killing her
Hallie Scruggs is seen with her father Chad Scruggs, the pastor at the presbyterian church affiliated with the school, her mother and three older brothers
Her parents – Norma and Ronald Hale – knew that she had a weapon at one time, but told her to sell it because they thought she couldn’t be trusted with it.
Instead, she hid her stockpile and added to it, buying seven different weapons in total from five local stores.
Chief Drake added: ‘Law enforcement knew nothing about the treatment, and it is apparent that she should not own weapons”.
Authorities also confirmed that Hale’s mother, Norma, had asked her what was in a red backpack she was carrying on the morning of the murders but she dismissed her question.
Yesterday, she took three of her weapons to The Covenant School – two rifles and a handgun.
Another two weapons were seen being removed from the house yesterday in a video obtained exclusively by DailyMail.com.
Police Chief Drake said of her family: ‘They felt she had one weapon and that she had sold it. She was under doctors’ care for an emotional disorder.
‘Her parents felt like she should not own weapons, and they were under the impression that she didn’t own any anymore. But she had been hiding several within the house.’
After shooting her dead, the officers approached Hale. Her weapons are clearly shown, along with what appears to be an armored vest
Hale was born female but had recently begun using he/him pronouns and the name ‘Aiden’
In addition to the weapons found at her home, police recovered these three weapons from the scene – confirming she had bought seven legally
It comes after a doctor posted a final haunting image of schoolchildren peacefully listening to her talk an hour before the shooting.
Missionary Britney Grayson visited The Covenant School in Nashville on Monday morning, leaving after talking about their life in Kenya at 10.12am.
Less than 20 minutes later Hale shot her way into the private Christian school and killed six before being gunned down by police.
All three of the children had been in the chapel learning the word Jambo and singing verses of Amazing Grace to perform for their grandparents next week according to Dr Grayson.
The doctor, based in Kenya, had visited the school with her husband Micah Wilfong after they were invited by friends whose daughters attended the school.
Dr Grayson posted a heartbreaking picture of the innocent children sitting and listening to her talk before they were forced into a lockdown amid the active shooter alert.
A photo of Audrey Hale inside The Covenant School during the shooting
Ronald and Norma Hale told police they were unaware their daughter still had guns
Audrey Hale is shown after being gunned down by police on the second floor of The Covenant School in Nashville, Tennessee, yesterday
A police car which Audrey Hale fired upon from a second story window once she had blasted her way into The Covenant School in Nashville on Monday
Nashville police have shared a photo of the car used by Audrey Hale, the private school shooter who killed six, including three nine-year-old children and three staff members
It is not known if any of the children who were killed in the brutal attack were pictured in the image.
Horrified parents rushed to the school shortly after the active shooter alert on Monday, which saw several others placed into lockdown.
Police took 14 minutes to arrive and shoot Hale dead, with bodycam footage revealing the moment they came across her in the school.
She had been shooting at police officers through a window, with cops taking less than six minutes to track her down within the building.
Parents and students have been back to the school to pray for those who died, as well as leave tributes for the fourth graders who were murdered.
Norma Hale (pictured center), the mother of Audrey Hale (pictured right), the transgender shooter who killed six people, including three nine-year-old children and three staff members, was herself an advocate for gun control on social media
The front entrance of The Covenant School shows the glass doors clearly decimated by bullets
Dr Grayson posted a heartbreaking picture of the innocent children sitting and listening to her talk before they were forced into a lockdown amid the active shooter alert. It is not known if any of the children who were killed in the brutal attack were pictured in the image
Missionary Britney Grayson visited The Covenant School in Nashville on Monday morning, leaving after talking about their life in Kenya at 10.12a
Hale left a detailed manifesto and plan for the shooting at her home and her car, but officers have yet to disclose its contents.
Police shared a picture of the Honda Fit she drove to The Covenant School and announced they’d found ‘additional material’ written by Hale from the manifesto she’d left.
They also posted photos of the doors of the school, which Hale had shot out in order to gain entry. Police confirmed the glass doors had been locked when Hale arrived.
The small school is run by a church and does not employ a school resource officer.
Hale also allegedly had planned out an attack on another school but decided not to attack there after believing there was too much security, according to Nashville Police Chief John Drake in a Monday afternoon press conference.
Before driving to the school, she messaged a friend on Instagram telling them: ‘I’m planning to die today. THIS IS NOT A JOKE!!!
‘You’ll probably hear about me on the news after I die.
‘This is my last goodbye. I love you. ‘See you again in another life. Audrey (Aiden)’.
Before traveling to the school, the killer sent a haunting final message to Averianna Patton on Instagram
Patton immediately called the cops to report the messages but it was already too late. By the time she called, Audrey had begun shooting children at the small, church school
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