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Flags Lowered For Nashville Shootings



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By Shannon Hicks

Newtown Hook & Ladder firefighters were at the Main Street flagpole this morning, lowering the town’s landmark flag following the country’s latest mass shooting.

On Monday morning, a former student shot through the doors of The Covenant School, a Christian elementary school in Nashville. Six people died before the shooter was killed by police.

According to the Associated Press the victims included three children, the school’s top administrator, a substitute teacher, and a custodian. The victims have been identified as Evelyn Dieckhaus, Hallie Scruggs, and William Kinney, all 9 years old, and adults Cynthia Peak, 61; Katherine Koonce, 60; and Mike Hill, 61.

Within hours, President Joseph Biden issued a proclamation calling for flags to be lowered as a mark of respect "for the victims of the senseless acts of violence perpetrated on March 27, 2023, in Nashville, Tennessee.

"Flags are to be flown at half-staff at the White House and upon all public buildings and grounds, at all military posts and naval stations, and on all naval vessels of the Federal Government in the District of Columbia and throughout the United States and its Territories and possessions until sunset, March 31, 2023,” the proclamation continued.

Biden also directed flags at all US embassies, legations, consular offices, and other facilities abroad, including all military facilities and naval vessels and stations, to be lowered for the same duration.

Governor Ned Lamont followed suit, directing US and state flags in Connecticut to fly at half-staff effective immediately until sunset on Friday, March 31, 2023.

Accordingly, since no flag should fly higher than the US flag, all other flags, including state, municipal, corporate, or otherwise, should also be lowered for the same duration.

Police gave unclear information on the gender of the shooter. For hours, police identified the shooter as a 28-year-old woman and eventually identified the person as Audrey Elizabeth Hale.

Then at a late afternoon press conference, Metropolitan Nashville Police Chief John Drake said Hale was transgender. After the news conference, police spokesperson Don Aaron declined to elaborate on how Hale currently identified.

Authorities said Hale was armed with two “assault-style” weapons as well as a handgun. At least two of them were believed to have been obtained legally in the Nashville area, according to the chief. Police said a search of Hale’s home turned up a sawed-off shotgun, a second shotgun and other unspecified evidence.

The school has about 200 students from preschool through sixth grade, as well as roughly 50 staff members.

President Joe Biden, speaking at the White House on Monday, called the shooting a “family’s worst nightmare” and implored Congress again to pass a ban on certain semi-automatic weapons.


Managing Editor Shannon Hicks can be reached at shannon@thebee.com.

Flags across the country are being lowered again, following the country’s latest mass shooting. Three children and three adults were killed Monday morning at a Christian elementary school in Nashville. —Bee file photo
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