Two Nashville news anchors reporting on the mass shooting at a local Christian academy broke down on air Monday while covering the tragedy in which three young students and three adults were shot and killed.
“Now, we have just learned three children are confirmed dead in this,” Holly Thompson said during a live WSMV broadcast as the news broke. “My heart is just hurting right now. Thoughts and prayers for these families.”
Thompson choked up as she both learned and reported the news for the local NBC affiliate station.
Her co-anchor Amanda Hara outreached her hand and held Thompson’s arm before turning the broadcast over to a reporter at the hospital.
Later during the same broadcast, Hara broke down after listening to an emotional, live interview another reporter was conducting near the school.
During that interview, a mother spoke through labored breaths to describe the police and emergency response outside The Covenant School.
“There just aren’t any words. I don’t know how the parents get through it,” the woman said, fighting back sobs.
The woman’s mother was in disbelief over the massacre.
“Three people lost their children today, it’s hard to imagine,” she said, tearing up.
The emotions also ran high in the newsroom when the cameras were turned back on the two anchors.
Hara began describing how parents didn’t know what had happened immediately following the shooting when she was unable to keep it together herself.
“There are just so many questions and people wanting to know,” she said as her voice cracked and she teared up.
Thompson rubbed Hara’s arm and took over the broadcast as Hara recollected herself.
Earlier, Hara had described how her own children’s school had been placed on lockdown as a result of The Covenant School shooting.
Three 9-year-olds — Evelyn Dieckhaus, William Kinney and Hallie Scruggs — were shot dead by a former student identified as Audrey Hale.
Hale, 28, also shot and killed custodian Mike Hill and substitute teacher Cynthia Peak, both 61, and school head Katherine Koonce, 60.
She was fatally shot by police at the scene.
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