Multiple Hallmark Channel stars have taken to social media to share their heartbreak and anger over the tragic school shooting in Nashville that, according to CNN, left three elementary school students and three adult staff members dead on March 27, 2023. Hallmark talent with ties to Nashville, including Alicia Witt and Kimberly Williams Paisley, were among those who shared their grief. Some stars also shared resources and frustration over gun violence in the U.S. including Nikki DeLoach, who shared a lengthy post with her followers.
The private Covenant School, the site of Monday’s shooting, is located inside a Presbyterian church and serves approximately 200 preschool through sixth-grade students, according to the New York Times. The Nashville Metro Police Department identified the victims in a tweet, reporting that all three students who died — Evelyn Dieckhaus, Hallie Scruggs, and William Kinney were “all age 9.” According to Nashville’s WSMV, the adult victims were substitute teacher Cynthia Peak, 61, head of school Katherine Koonce, 60, and school janitor Mike Hill, 61.
The shooter identified by authorities as 28-year-old Audrey Hale, had two “assault-style” weapons — a rifle and a pistol — as well as a handgun, per the Associated Press, which reported that “at least two of them were believed to have been obtained legally in the Nashville area.” Hale was killed by police who responded to the emergency.
Multiple Hallmark Stars Expressed Their Sadness Over Mass Shooting
As news of the tragedy spread, multiple Hallmark actresses took to social media to share words of sympathy and sadness, including Witt, who lives in Nashville. She posted a screenshot on Instagram of an NBC News article and wrote, “there are just no words. none.”
She continued, “on this beautiful day in my hometown, heart broken for those experiencing such unthinkable loss and tragedy and trauma.”
Witt, who has said she hopes to film a new Hallmark movie this year, also wrote in her Instagram Stories, “heart broken for everyone who has just lost their life, lost an irreplaceable loved one, in such a senseless way”
Kimberly Williams Paisley, who lives in nearby Franklin, Tennessee, shared her thoughts in an Instagram Story, too, with plain white text on a black background.
“Heartbroken to hear of another mass shooting,” she wrote. “This time at an elementary school in our community. Hearts are broken. More lives are lost, including children. Survivors will never be the same.💔💔💔 #covenantschoolshooting”
Actress Lacey Chabert shared similar sentiments in an Instagram Story, which also featured her words typed in white on a black background.
“Completely devastated for the families who lost loved ones today in Nashville,” Chabert wrote. “My heart is broken for everyone involved. There are no words. We shouldn’t be afraid to send our precious children to school.”
Meanwhile, Erin Cahill shared an Instagram Story shortly after news of the shooting was first reported, writing, “My heart is breaking for the families of those lost in Nashville.💔”
Nikki DeLoach and Other Stars Share Frustrations Over Gun Violence
Some Hallmark stars also used social media to advocate for more action from the nation’s leaders to curb violence in the United States. Nonprofit research group The Gun Violence Archive uses police reports, news stories and other public resources to track gun violence in the U.S., defining mass shootings as those “in which at least four people are killed or injured.” By that standard, the New York Times reported, the Covenant School tragedy is the 130th mass shooting in the U.S. in 2023.
After sharing multiple resources about gun violence, DeLoach ended the day with a lengthy post in her Instagram Stories to reveal her grief and frustration. The mom of two boys, ages 9 and 5, wrote that “guns are the #1 killer of children and teens in the United States of America” and that “mass shootings at schools should NOT be a political issue.”
“WE have the power to end this,” she continued. “It’s called voting. Call your representatives and demand they make this country safer for our children by passing safer gun legislation. If they do nothing, VOTE THEM OUT.”
DeLoach implored her followers to “not wait around for the ‘adults in the room’ to make the right choice. They’ve proven over and over and over again that they will not prioritize our children over their politics.”
“My heart is broken for the families and community of Nashville, I’m so so sorry,” she ended her statement. “This is utterly devastating, gut wrenching. 💔💔💔”
Meanwhile, Hallmark actress Holly Robinson Peete shared a news story about the Nashville shooting in her Instagram Stories and expressed her anger over the situation, referring to the state’s gun laws. According to the Sevier County Sheriff’s Office, Tennessee “does not require a permit to carry a firearm, whether openly or concealed.”
Robinson Peete wrote, “No permit to carry needed in Tennessee so…yeah 😤😤 And it won’t stop. But drag shows…🤦🏽♀️🤦🏽♀️”
Robinson Peete’s post also referred to the controversial new Tennessee law that makes it, according to NPR, the “first state to pass a ban on public drag shows.”
Meanwhile, “Color My World With Love” actress Erica Durance shared a recent video in her Instagram Stories of former “Daily Show” host Jon Stewart discussing gun control with Oklahoma State Senator Nathan Dahm, and Chelsea Hobbs, who just wrapped filming her latest Hallmark movie, posted a message in her Instagram Stories imploring leaders to “ban assault rifles now.”
Nashville Mayor John Cooper tweeted on Monday that “in a tragic morning, Nashville joined the dreaded, long list of communities to experience a school shooting.” He said funds are being collected by the Community Foundation of Middle Tennessee for the victims’ families.
I was at work all day of that horrific shooting. My sister was desperately trying to call me to make sure my grandchildren were not there at Covenant. My son and his family moved to Nashville a year ago and love it there. But such horror should never visit a school. Any school. I was able to calm my sister by telling her that my DIL homeschools their littles, ages 3 and 5. If my grands were involved in such a scenario, I fear that forgiveness would be so difficult to offer. Yet, Jesus commands us to do so. I wanted to respond to dear actress Nikki DeLoach who I love. She made a comment about the greatest number of deaths for children being caused by gun violence. In reality, the greatest number of deaths for children (including infants) is abortion. The violence in those deaths is unfathomable. God bless you all. Elaine