On March 28, 2023, Melissa Joan Hart, who competed on season 9 of “Dancing With the Stars,” shared an emotional Instagram video, telling her followers about her experience after the shooting that occurred at The Covenant School in Nashville, Tennessee, the day before.
Hart’s kids’ school is located next to The Covenant School. In her post, she revealed that she and her husband Mark Wilkerson were in the area around the time of the shooting and helped out during the aftermath.
“My husband and I were on our way to school for conferences, and luckily our kids weren’t in today. And we helped a class of kindergarteners across a busy highway that were climbing out of the woods, that were trying to escape the shooter situation at their school,” Hart said in a video posted on her Instagram feed.
“So, we helped all these tiny little kids cross the road. And get their teachers over there. And we helped a mom reunite with her children,” she continued, clearly emotional.
Here’s what you need to know:
Melissa Joan Hart Asked People to Pray
Hart and her husband lived in Connecticut, not far from Sandy Hook, when that tragedy happened in December 2012. On the March 29, 2023, episode of her “What Women Binge” podcast, Hart said that her son was in first grade at the time, and had the shooting happened at his school, he may have been amongst the deceased.
Hart’s kids, who are now 17, 15, and 10, were “all okay” despite the scary incident that occurred.
“I don’t know what to say anymore,” Hart continued in her Instagram video. “It is just, enough is enough. And, um. Just pray. Pray for the families,” she added.
On her podcast, she dove a bit deeper when it comes to how things transpired on March 27, 2023. She and her husband noted seeing a helicopter overhead while they were driving in the area and thought it was strange. What happened next, they weren’t prepared for. Hart said that a teacher and a group of children crossed the street near their car and the “look on her face” completely “changed” Hart’s life.
“I was trying to understand what she’s doing. Why’s she taking these children on this five-lane street?” Hart said, but she realized that these kids needed help, so she hopped out of the car.
After about 30 minutes, Hart said that a total of 200 police cars had arrived in the area. “It was just insane,” she said. “It was just the saddest thing I’ve ever witnessed,” she added.
The School Shooter Has Been Identified as Audrey Hale
Police say that 28-year-old Audrey Hale was heavily armed when she entered The Covenant School around 10 a.m. local time. Hale has been accused of fatally shooting three students who have been identified by police as Evelyn Dieckhaus, Hallie Scruggs, and William Kinney, all age 9, as well as three adults Cynthia Peak, 61, Katherine Koonce, 60, and Mike Hill, 61, all of whom worked at the school.
Hale was shot and killed by responding officers Rex Engelbert and Officer Michael Collazo, police said in a news release.
The Covenant School is a private Christian school that enrolls children from preschool through sixth grade, according to the school’s official website.
Hart and her husband were among many parents who were faced with unthinkable anxiety and stress on March 27, 2023. DWTS champ Shawn Johnson, who also lives in Nashville, talked about her young children being placed in lockdown while they were at school that day.
“I haven’t been able to catch my breath since reading the news and getting a call from our school that they were on lockdown as well given the news. Shaking. Crying. Heartbroken. Horrific,” Johnson wrote on her Instagram Stories after the shooting. She later added that what she witnessed that day “changed” her.
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