Nashville Christian school shooting victim Evelyn Dieckhaus’ older sister broke down in sobs as she mourned the 9-year-old on Monday, crying out that she doesn’t “want to be an only child.”
Evelyn’s sister, Eleanor, survived the rampage that killed her younger sibling and five others at The Covenant School, the Missourian reported.
Woodmont Christian Church senior minister Clay Stauffer emotionally recalled the fifth grader’s heartbreak over her new reality at a vigil on Monday evening.
“I don’t want to be an only child,” he quoted Eleanor as saying, according to the Tennessean.
A family friend remembered the slain 9-year-old on Monday as “very creative.”
“She and her older sister would stage plays in the backyard. She was just an absolute delight,” said the friend, who spoke to The Missourian but asked to not be named
Officials identified two more students among the victims, Hallie Scruggs, and William Kinney. All three students were nine-years-old.
Three Covenant School faculty killed in the shooting were identified as substitute teacher Cynthia Peak and custodian Mike Hill, both 61, and school head Katherine Koonce, 60.
Police said 28-year-old Audrey Hale entered the Christian academy Monday morning with two assault rifles and a handgun before opening fire.
Hale, a former student at the Covenant School, gunned down the six victims before being fatally shot by police at 10:27 a.m. — 14 minutes after authorities received a call about an active shooter.
Police said Hale, who identifies as transgender and signed off a chilling “suicide note” to a former friend as “Aiden,” left behind a manifesto and map that had been used to plan the massacre.
The community mourned the loss Monday that befell the small private school, which educates students in pre-K through 6th grade and has about 200 students.
The Covenant School, located in the affluent Green Hills neighborhood, focuses its curriculum on biblical theology and has a motto of “Shepherding Hearts, Empowering Minds, Celebrating Childhood.”
Monday afternoon President Biden called the massacre “heartbreaking.”
“We have to do more to stop gun violence,” Biden said. “It’s ripping our communities apart. It’s ripping at the soul of this nation.”
Biden said he remains committed to gun reform efforts and called on Congress to pass his proposed assault weapons ban.