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Head of school killed in Tenn. school shooting was Baton Rouge native; another La. native killed

Lake Charles KPLC 3/28/2023 Lester Duhé, Michael Simoneaux
Dr. Katherine Koonce © Provided by Lake Charles KPLC Dr. Katherine Koonce

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WAFB) - The head of school killed in a shooting at a Tennessee elementary school on Monday, March 27, was from Baton Rouge, according to a family friend.

The head of school, Dr. Katherine Koonce, 60, was among three adults and three 9-year-olds killed in the shooting at The Covenant School in the Nashville area, authorities said.

RELATED: 3 children, 3 adults killed in shooting at Tennessee elementary school

Cynthia Peaks, 61, another Louisiana native, was also killed in the shooting. She is originally from Leesville, a family friend said.

RELATED: Teacher killed in Tennessee elementary school shooting was raised in Leesville

Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards released the below statement about the Louisiana natives:

“Donna and I ask the entire state of Louisiana to pray for the families of Cynthia Peak, Katherine Koonce, and all the victims of Monday’s senseless, evil mass shooting in Nashville, Tennessee. When we send our loved ones off to school to learn or teach, we should never have to worry if they will make it home alive.”

Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards

The friend of Dr. Koonce’s family said she went to University High Lab School and studied at LSU.

Dr. Koonce had been at The Covenant School for nearly seven years. Click here to read a letter from Dr. Koonce on the school’s website.

The child victims were identified by authorities as Evelyn Dieckhaus, Hallie Scruggs, and William Kinney. The other adult victim was identified by authorities as Mike Hill, 61.

The shooting suspect was identified as Audrey Hale, 28, a former student at the school, authorities said. They added the suspect was killed by law enforcement.

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