The headmistress of The Covenant School in Nashville, where a woman who identified as transgender shot and killed three 9-year-old children and three adults, reportedly ran toward the shooter before she herself was murdered.
Dr. Katherine Koonce, 61, was gunned down by the shooter in the corridor after the shooter shot through the locked glass door at the entrance and an alarm went off. The shooter then began going through the halls.
Read about our new Head of School, Dr. Katherine Koonce, in her own words. We are excited! https://t.co/8nECSvi0EB pic.twitter.com/MfzoFcaQ0s
— The Covenant School (@CovenantKnights) April 14, 2016
“I am grateful for the heroic efforts of the school staff and our police department,” Nashville Metro Council representative Russ Pulley, a former special agent for the FBI and former state trooper, wrote on Facebook. “The headmaster, Dr. Koonce, upon hearing the first shots, ran toward the danger. She also made sure the school was prepared with active shooter training and protocols.”
“It is my understanding from a witness at the school that Katherine Koonce was on a Zoom call when she heard the first shot. She immediately ended the call, got up and headed straight for the shooter,” Pulley told Fox News Digital. “She did what principals and headmasters do; she protected her children. In addition, she prepared the school by seeking advanced-level active-shooter training, and from witnesses at the scene, this protocol – details of which I cannot provide – saved countless lives.”
During the COVID pandemic, Koonce had written on the school blog about the use of the term “whatever” in the Bible:
Daily I need to open my heart to whatever. Whatever God has for our school, whatever the duration of our distance learning, whatever the trials we’re having to endure – we still believe, we are still faithful, we will still love Him wholeheartedly. Whatever difficulties or blessings are evident in our homes, we will seek to do the next right thing. With hands open to whatever, we will make good decisions, we will construct good plans, and we will seek to do whatever pleases God.
“There are certain people that are panic-resistant people, teachers, doctors, nurses, cops, firefighters, street reporters, there are certain people who are drawn to certain jobs that are panic resistant. And teachers are in that category,” National Police Association spokesperson Sgt. Betsy Brantner Smith added. “So, what you had is the police response, and then you had these teachers who obviously had trained, obviously discussed this. And they worked so well with the police officers, and they provided the right information at the right time and obviously risked themselves.”
“There was a confrontation, I’m sure — you can tell the way she was lying in the hallway,” Nashville Police Chief John Drake said Tuesday.
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Pulley saluted the teachers and staff at the school for the way they dealt with the schoolchildren in the immediate aftermath of the shooting, saying, “I was at that scene and observed them calmly handling the children like it was another day at school. After all the children were reunited with their parents, the staff became emotional. But while they had their children, they were amazingly doing what teachers and administrators do: take care of their children. And those children seemed to be doing as well as they could under the circumstances.”