Melissa Joan Hart helped Nashville kids escape shooting

  • Melissa Joan Hart helped kids escape the fatal Nashville school shooting
  • She helped reunite one mom with her kids who were still in the school
  • Police identified 28-year-old Audrey Hale as the suspect

(NewsNation) — Melissa Joan Hart helped kindergartners escape their school after a fatal shooting in Nashville on Monday morning.

The “Sabrina the Teenage Witch” actress told NewsNation host Ashleigh Banfield that this isn’t the first time she and her family experienced a school shooting nearby. 

“It was so traumatic, and I was just a bystander, I’m just there trying to help in any way I can,” Hart said. “To know that there were parents last night who went home without their children … it is just unfathomable.”

Hart and her husband Mark Wilkerson were driving by The Covenant School when the tragedy took place. And after being redirected by a cop, Hart said she saw little children following their teacher.

Hart got out of the car and starting helping the kids cross the street.

“We got them across the street as fast as we could. The teachers didn’t want to make eye contact. I think it’s because they were trying not to break down,” Hart said.

A mom standing nearby told Hart that her children were still in the school. Hart and her husband were able to bring the mom to a fire station, where she was reunited with her children.

“I prayed with her until my husband was able to help her down the hill, I realized she was pregnant … Looking back, in 2012, I had just given birth to my third child, and I had two kids in school. I’m that mom about a decade before, and I just felt for this woman,” Hart said.

Hart previously lived in Connecticut when the Sandy Hook shooting took place, and she recalls running to get her first grader from a nearby school.

It took the Metropolitan Nashville Police Department officers 14 minutes to respond to and neutralize the suspect.

Bodycam footage shows MNPD Officers Rex Engelbert, a 4-year veteran, and Michael Collazo, a 9-year veteran, responding to the alert and navigating through the Covenant campus.

Police identified 28-year-old Audrey Hale as the suspect who bought at least seven firearms legally from local stores, according to officials.

The six victims fatally shot have been identified as Evelyn Dieckhaus, Hallie Scruggs and William Kinney, all age 9; Cynthia Peak, 61; Katherine Koonce, 60; and Mike Hill, 61.


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