Evelyn Dieckhaus, a nine-year-old student at The Covenant School, was one of the six victims in the mass shooting at the school on Monday (March 27).
Dieckhaus’ family described her as a “shining light in this world,” sharing that their “hearts are completely broken. We cannot believe this has happened.”
It has been reported that Dieckhaus was desperately trying to pull the fire alarm to warn her fellow classmates and teachers of the terrifying rampage the shooter was about to unleash.
Twitter has deemed Dieckhaus a hero.
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“One of the 9-year-old victims of the Nashville school shooting goes to my church,” said Sarah Drury, Dieckhaus’ Sunday school teacher, during a vigil Monday night. “She was adorable. I taught her equally angelic big sister in Sunday Sunday school. Her mom Katy volunteered in our children’s ministry—such a sweet Christian family. We had a prayer vigil tonight at our church. We are, the whole city, saturated in grief. Now it’s time to marry prayer and grief with action.”
At that same vigil, Dieckhaus’ sister told attendees, “I don’t want to be an only child.”
A GoFundMe set up for the Dieckhaus family has raised over $108,496, surpassing its goal of $50,000.
Lauren Ivy, a mother of one of Dieckhaus’ friends, said, “I cannot fathom the pain Katy [Evelyn’s mother] and her family are experiencing. All I can do is pray, and I am begging you to do the same. No one should have to explain to their 9 year old that their friend is gone due to such a senseless act of gun violence. Just pray for all of the families affected by this 💔 It’s truly a tragic situation.”
The shooter took five other innocent lives before being shot dead by Metro Nashville Police Department officers.
The victims of the shooting have been identified as Evelyn Dieckhaus (9), William Kinney (9), Hallie Scruggs (9), custodian Mike Hill (61), substitute teacher Cynthia Peak (61), and Head of the School Katherine Koonce (60).
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Scruggs was the nine-year-old daughter of Covenant Presbyterian Church senior pastor Chad Scruggs and his wife Jada.
Hallie’s father told ABC News, that they “are heartbroken. She was such a gift. Through tears we trust that she is in the arms of Jesus who will raise her to life once again.”
Authorities have reported that the shooter, born a female, identified as transgender man and had a manifesto, as well as a map of the school. The shooter shot out windows of locked doors in order to gain access to the school and was armed with two assault-style rifles and a handgun.