Mourners gathered Friday for the first funeral of a victim murdered in this week’s mass shooting at a Nashville school, WSMV-TV reports.
The service was held Friday afternoon for 9-year-old Evelyn Dieckhaus, who was fatally shot on Monday at The Covenant School along with two peers and three adults. As CrimeOnline previously reported, Dieckhaus was trying to pull the fire alarm at the time she was killed.
“Evelyn could have been anything,” senior pastor Clay Stauffer told mourners, according to NBC News. “But she chose to be a beacon of light and hope, love and joy to those around her.”
Hundreds of people came together at Woodmont Christian Church for Dieckhaus’ hour-long celebration of life, which reportedly involved scripture readings, prayers and musical performances by prominent country singers, News Channel 5 reports.
Dieckhaus was remembered for her creativity and love of animals, music and family. A private burial is scheduled for Saturday. A GoFundMe page is raising money for the family.
Funerals for 9-year-old Hallie Scruggs and 61-year-old Cynthia Peak, a substitute teacher, are scheduled for Saturday, and the funeral for 9-year-old William Kinney is set for Sunday. Services for 61-year-old Mike Hill, a school custodian, are scheduled for Tuesday, while 60-year-old Katherine Koonce, the head of school, will be remembered on Wednesday.
Police were called to The Covenant School around 10:15 a.m. Monday. Within 15 minutes, officers had arrived at the school and killed the shooter, identified as 28-year-old Audrey Hale, according to The Associated Press.
On Thursday, officials released heart-rending recordings of frantic 911 calls from people at the school reporting gunshots. “Please send someone soon,” one teacher begged dispatchers, according to CNN.
The attack is the 19th school shooting so far in 2023 and the deadliest school shooting in the United States in nearly one year.
For the latest true crime and justice news, subscribe to the ‘Crime Stories with Nancy Grace’ podcast.
Join Nancy Grace for her new online video series designed to help you protect what you love most — your children.
[Feature Photo: Evelyn/Family Handout]