Nashville shooting: Melissa Joan Hart says she helped kindergartners flee school area

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Actress Melissa Joan Hart said that she and her husband helped a group of “tiny little kids” cross the street as they left The Covenant School in Nashville after a 28-year-old shooter opened fire at the private Christian school.

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Hart, 46, who lives in Nashville, posted an emotional video on her Instagram page. She noted that she and her husband, Mark Wilkerson, were heading to a parent-teacher conference at a nearby school when they stopped to help some kindergarten students cross the street as they left The Covenant School, The Tennessean reported.

“We helped a class of kindergarteners cross a busy highway,” said Hart, who rose to fame in the 1990s television shows “Clarissa Explains It All” and “Sabrina the Teenage Witch.” “They were climbing out of the woods. They were trying to escape the shooter situation at their school. So we helped all these tiny little, little kids cross the road and get their teachers over there and we helped a mom reunite with her children.”

Three 9-year-old children -- Evelyn Dieckhaus, Hallie Scruggs and William Kinney -- along with school head Katherine Koonce, substitute teacher Cynthia Peak and custodian Mike Hill, were killed when the shooter, identified as Audrey Hale, opened fire after shooting through glass doors to gain entry.

Hale was killed by Metro Nashville Police Department officers Rex Engelbert and Michael Collazo as police were able to take down the shooter within 14 minutes after receiving a 911 call, The Tennessean reported.

It was the deadliest U.S. school shooting since 19 students and two staff members were killed at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas, in May 2022. According to CNN, it was the 19th shooting at a school or university in 2023 that left at least one person wounded.

After Hale was killed, students were evacuated in lines and many were placed inside Metro Nashville Public Schools buses, according to The Tennessean. They were taken to a reunification area at Woodmont Baptist Church, the newspaper reported.

According to her video, Hart said she had moved to Nashville from Connecticut and that her children had attended a school near Sandy Hook Elementary when 26 children were shot and killed there in December 2012, The Associated Press reported.

“So this is our second experience with a school shooting with our kids being in close proximity,” Hart said. “Luckily we are all OK. Luckily our kids weren’t in today.”

“I don’t know what to say anymore. Enough is enough.”

A spokesperson for Hart did not immediately return a message from the AP seeking further comment.

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