Nashville School Shooting Victim Hallie Scruggs Remembered As 'Beautiful, Big, Huge Light'

Hallie Scruggs is one of six victims killed in a shooting at The Covenant School in Nashville on Monday morning

Hallie Scruggs Where was the image taken - When was the image taken - Around Christmas time Who took the photograph - Hallie’s brother Full credit line – Courtesy of the Scrugg family Source contact information: Name: Kara Scrugg Arnold Phone: (615) 289-8951 E-mail: Image sent by: Kara Scrugg Arnold
Photo: Courtesy of the Scruggs family

The aunt of 9-year-old Hallie Scruggs, one of six victims who died in a Nashville school shooting on Monday, is remembering her as a "beautiful, big, huge light."

Hallie was killed on Monday morning when a former student at The Covenant School opened fire. She is the daughter of Chad Scruggs, the senior pastor at Covenant Presbyterian Church.

Chad gave reporters a brief statement on Tuesday and shared how his family is keeping the faith as they grieve.

"Through tears we trust that she is in the arms of Jesus who will raise her to life once again," he said, per Newsweek.

Hallie, her siblings and cousins Where was the image taken - Escape Room When was the image taken - Around Christmas time Who took the photograph - Kara Scruggs Arnold Full credit line - Kara Scruggs Arnold Source contact information: Name: Kara Scruggs Arnold Phone: (615) 289-8951 E-mail: Image sent by: Kara Scruggs Arnold
Kara Scruggs Arnold

Kara Scruggs Arnold, Chad's younger sister and Hallie's aunt, told PEOPLE that her family moved from Nashville to Canon City, Colorado, a year and a half ago.

"I think we were all maybe not quite prepared when it all happened so fast that, 'Oh, this is a national conversation now,' and there've been a lot of people reaching out and no one's really talking to anyone because I think we all just feel a little uncomfortable going, 'Oh, I'll be the spokesperson for the family.' Nobody really wants that role," Kara told PEOPLE on Tuesday.

She opened up about Hallie's bond with her family, adding she's "very close with her brothers. They do a lot of adventurous things. She's always up for adventure."

Hallie is the youngest of four children of Chad and his wife Jada, Kara said. Her brothers are John Randall, 16, Charlie, 14, and Carter, 12.

In her final days, Hallie enjoyed a mission trip to Belize "where she was really excited about having her hair braided, but she had a very big heart for loving people and for serving people," Kara said.

"They did a lot of that, obviously, as people who are in ministry they did a lot of that in their community," she said of the family.

Like her brothers, Hallie also was passionate about playing sports, Kara said.

"She was very athletic, loved to play sports, soccer and basketball, especially all the games I saw she always scored like a million goals," she said. "She was just ... Having three big brothers that are all very athletic she just was very athletic and loved to play. She was definitely no princess. She was right there with her big brothers every step of the way and ready to get into anything, and there was no challenge she wasn't ready for. She was just a beautiful, big, huge light."

Kara said Hallie and her family "literally did everything together. They were very close, but it was sports, sports, sports."

The Scruggs family is a "very close-knit, down-to-earth community and family," Kara added.

RELATED VIDEO: 3 Children, 3 Adults Killed in Nashville School Shooting

"I know right now their community, and their church, and their family is their priority and just getting through it," Kara said.

Hallie was an adventurous child who was energetic and "always up for adventure," Kara said.

Hallie also had a close friendship with her first cousin Chip, Kara's youngest child who was just three days apart from Hallie.

"When we're all together Chip and Hallie are always off by themselves, and it's just the most beautiful, authentic friendship I've ever seen of any two kids," she said.

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Hallie Scruggs and her family Where was the image taken - Laguna Beach, Fl When was the image taken - October, 2020 Who took the photograph - Kara Scrugg Arnold Full credit line – Kara Scrugg Arnold
Kara Scrugg Arnold

Kara praised Hallie's parents for their strength.

"I honestly don't know anyone on this earth that has more strength and grace than Chad and Jada, and that is the absolute truth because I could not get out of bed this morning, so I don't know how they're doing it but I know they can," she says.

Nashville authorities have confirmed that the assailant, a former student identified as 28-year-old Audrey Hale, gained entrance to the Covenant School by shooting through a glass door before killing three adults and three children. Officers engaged the shooter on the second floor of the building, killing the assailant, who was confirmed dead by 10:27 a.m.

Along with Hallie, Evelyn Dieckhaus and William Kinney, both 9, Cynthia Peak, 61, Katherine Koonce, 60, and Mike Hill, 61, died in the shooting.

According to statistics from the Gun Violence Archive, which defines a mass shooting as an incident in which four or more people are shot, regardless of the number of fatalities, there were 128 mass shootings in 2023 as of Monday morning.

How to help

You can donate to the families of the victims through The Community Foundation of Middle Tennessee. ViVE and VictimsFirst have also created GoFundMe pages for donations. Both fundraisers are verified.

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