On Monday morning, a gunman opened fire at The Covenant School in Nashville, TN, killing three nine-year-old students and three staff members. As Megyn emotionally described during the opening of Tuesday’s program, “one sick person” (Megyn has a policy of not naming the shooters in these situations) perpetrated this tragedy. She was shot and killed by the heroic police officers who responded quickly and decisively before she could inflict any more damage. In honor of the victims and the bravery of the first responders, Megyn reflected on the tragedy and paid tribute to the lives that were lost. Watch it above or read Megyn’s remarks below:
What It’s Like to Be 9 Years Old
When I was getting ready for the show today – there’s something being done outside of our studio, so I couldn’t get ready at my normal desk – so I went into Thatcher’s room. He has a nice little desk in his bedroom with a good lamp, and I sat there and I was reading the details on the three children and three teachers who were killed – a custodian, a teacher, and a principal. I was looking around his room trying to hold it together and thinking about: What’s a nine year old into? There were two girls and a boy killed. My nine year old – the first thing I saw was this poop emoji squishy on the desk. Not far from that, to be perfectly honest with you, there was like a ‘fart blaster’ where you press the trigger and it makes the funny noises, his books, Land of Stories, little medals from little events he’s won that he’s proud of, his stuffed animals – [he] calls them his ‘defense force’ – on the bottom of his bed. There’s a little avocado, there’s a stuffed dog, there’s a bear, there’s a Syracuse University Orange, and things like that. That’s nine. They’re little.
He still wants to be tucked in every night, and God bless it, I do it and so does Doug. Sometimes you’re tired, but, 99 percent of the time, we love it and look forward to it. He was trying to convince his uncle to tuck him in last summer, and the uncle was like, ‘You can do it, Thatcher.’ And Thatcher said, ‘It’s really easy. All you have to do is pull the covers up to my nose and give me a kiss.’ That’s nine. That’s nine. There was a little picture on his cork board, it was like a ‘celebration of courage’ that they did in his class in third grade, and he said, ‘I felt brave when I went in the ocean, which I’m afraid of, and went under a big wave.’ That’s nine. Nine makes the gas jokes and has the poop emojis, and nine reads sweet books like Land of Stories as an escape to get away from life and go into the fairytale world, which they still think is possible. Everything seems possible.
America’s Mental Health Crisis
Three nine-year-olds were shot down yesterday by one sick person, in addition to the three school administrators. There’s something wrong with our society, and I for one am f–king sick of the knee jerk, ‘It’s the guns. Get the guns.’ We have 330 million guns, maybe over 400 million by some counts, in America. They’re not going away. We could do an assault weapons ban tomorrow. They’re not going away, alright. We have to take a serious honest look at what’s wrong with us. We can take a look at what’s going on in the case of this particular woman – trans person, biological woman – and figure out what made this person crack, but we go through this every time. We tried to figure out the issues that led this person to do it or that person to do it and then we change nothing. Okay, we changed nothing.
I realize it’s a big country, and it’s a free country, and you’re never going to be able to stop them all. But that shouldn’t lead to just the constant shoulder shrugs. I, for one, think we really need to take a hard look at mental health and also institutionalization. We need to make it easier to civilly commit people who are showing signs, red flags, that they may be the next school shooter.
We also as always decline to give the shooter any more notoriety than this sick person obviously wanted, nor are we gonna showcase her cowardice who turned a peaceful school for young children into a war zone. That was her swan song in dealing with her issues. She took the time to write some weird, loving goodbye to a female friend of hers, wanting to announce that she’d be soon seen on the news. So, don’t help. The media shouldn’t help. She wanted infamy. We decline to give it.
Talk about what happened, try to figure this out because we care about our children in our country. About her, I don’t give two shits. I’m sorry, I don’t care who gets offended. I want this person to be rotting in hell right now. I’m trying to find my inner Catholic to say, ‘We forgive. We try to understand.’ Right now, I’m not gonna lie, I’m praying to God she’s burning in hell. That’s my prayer. Maybe it makes me a bad person. I’ll have to seek forgiveness this Sunday, as I always do.
The Heroic Response of Law Enforcement
On the other side of the ledger, this person was evil, but this story is not all about evil. It’s also about incredible courage in the video. The six-minute video makes you proud as you can be of our law enforcement. You know, ‘All cops are bastards.’ You know the people like BLM activists who have been telling us that for the past three years? We’re going to show you these cops. You ask yourself whether these are the ‘bastards’ that have been so demonized by the far left over the past few years.
These are heroes. These are young guys who ran toward the danger and, you will see it, without a thought for themselves. Their professionalism, their courage, their calmness under very tense circumstances – you can hear the siren blaring, you can see the lights flashing. They showed honor, true honor. Sometimes you wonder, especially with young people today, like ‘What’s going through their heads?’ ‘Is there anything to feel proud of?’ ‘What’s happening to our society?’ You look at these guys and you think, ‘Thank, God. We were still Americans. We still do run toward the danger. We still have heroes here. It’s not all bad. It’s not all societal decay.’
School Safety Concerns
We always ask ‘why?’ In times like these. We always ask, ‘Why would somebody do this?’ ‘Why would you target little children?’ ‘Why does this little child seen here with the hand up on the window have to end the school day in utter terror and grief?’ There are no easy answers. There never are in these cases. But at least, in this particular case, we have quickly found out some of the details.
Note to the schools and the administrators out there because, in the wake of these tragedies – I don’t want to say every time, but too often – we see copycats. I know I’m worried about it. I’m sure every parent out there is worried about it right now. And if you don’t have a lot of security at your school, now’s the time to beef up right now. Beef up. Even if you can’t sustain it long term, you have to do it in the wake of something like this because it does give people ideas. It’s one of the reasons why we shouldn’t put these stories on loop. Yes, they need to be discussed, but they don’t need to go on loop.
Remembering The Victims of the Nashville Shooting
At this stage, authorities do not believe that the shooter was targeting specific people inside the school. They were random victims. However, the Covenant’s head of school, 60-year-old Katherine Koonce, was among the victims. She’s been described as a remarkable woman – strong, steady, and hilarious. Also killed, 61-year-old substitute teacher Cynthia Peak. She leaves behind a husband, a daughter, and two sons. The third adult victim, 61-year-old school custodian Mike Hill. A former pastor who hired Mike said of him, ‘I don’t know the details yet, but I have a feeling when it all comes out, that Mike’s sacrifice saved lives. I have nothing factual to base that upon. I just know what kind of guy he was, and I know is the kind of guy that would do that.’
And then there are the three smallest victims. All three children killed, just nine years old, as I said. Among them, Hallie Scruggs. Hallie’s dad is a pastor at the connected church. In a statement, he called his little girl ‘such a gift,’ saying through tears, ‘we trust that she is in the arms of Jesus who will raise her to life once again.’ Just imagine how those little boys [Hallie’s brothers] are feeling today and Hallie’s poor mother. In the image we’re showing, she’s absolutely beaming. She has a beautiful – from the look of it – a very happy family. That is the smile of a mother in pure happiness and love with her family, not anticipating anything like this – as none of us do when we send our children off to school.
We haven’t learned a lot of details about the other two young victims just yet. But Evelyn Dieckhaus was a third grader at the school. Last night at a prayer vigil, Evelyn’s older sister told the crowd through tears, ‘I don’t want to be an only child.’ The little boy was William Kinney. We don’t have a picture of him yet either, and we don’t yet know all the stories that William’s friends and family no doubt have about him. I’m sure there are many. When we learn more, we will share them. That’s how you keep their memories alive.
The Police Officers Who Took Down the Shooter
I mentioned the Mr. Rogers’s philosophy: ‘In times like this, look for the helpers.’ Such good advice, and, boy, were their helpers here. There were heroes here. Here are the names of just two of them, and there will be more. They weren’t the only two on scene. Nashville Police Officer Michael Collazo and Officer Rex Engelbert. Look at these guys. These two men are credited with taking down the shooter. Officer Collazo has been on the force for nine years, officer Engelbert just four.
When they and other officers arrived at the scene, the shooter began firing off rounds at police through a second floor window. The chaos began immediately. The bullets hit patrol cars. Even so, Collazo and Engelbert and their fellow officers ran toward the gunfire – as they are trained and required to do – in order to find and take down the threat and save the lives of who knows how many inside that school.
The video we are about to show is these officers entering the building and doing exactly that. It shows the absolute heroism in the face of terror. Could you do this? Think of what police do on a day-to-day basis. Could you do this? Could you maintain this kind of professionalism in these circumstances?
Megyn’s Message for the Victims’ Families
Good god. God bless them. God bless the families of these victims who are going through so much right now. Now this community has to try to figure out a way to begin to heal.