Heartbreaking photo shows Covenant School classroom hours before deadly shooting

A photo of children at The Covenant School just hours before the deadly shooting is going viral on social media.

Dr Britney Grayson, a pediatric surgeon and missionary in Kenya, tweeted on Monday afternoon that she had spent her morning at The Covenant School teaching children about life as a missionary in Kenya, hours before tragedy struck the school.

In her post, Dr Grayson said she was invited by her “dear friends” to speak at Chapel and visit the girls’ classrooms at the school.

In her tweet, Dr Grayson posted a photo of herself speaking with a group of what appears to be 26 young students, taken just four hours before the shooting.

“The kids were great,” she said.

Dr Grayson left the school 20 minutes before the shooting (@britneygrayson / Twitter)
Dr Grayson left the school 20 minutes before the shooting (@britneygrayson / Twitter)

But less than 20 minutes after Dr Grayson left the Christian elementary school, a shooter opened fire on the elementary school killing three children and three adults.

The shooter, identified by their birth name Audrey Elizabeth Hale, was 28 years old and reportedly identified as a transgender man, though law enforcement initially described Hale as a woman in the aftermath of the shooting.

Hale broke into The Covenant School armed with two assault-style rifles and a handgun. They were shot dead by police nearly 15 minutes after the shooting began.

“There are no words for this feeling,” Dr Grayson tweeted. “I think the normal feeling is supposed to be relief – relief that we were already gone and our lives are safe.

“But to do what I do makes me literally one of the most qualified people on the planet to help in that situation. Why had we driven away just minutes before? Could I have helped those children if we were still there? I feel guilty for being safe.”

Dr Grayson graduated with a PhD from Vanderbilt University School of Medicine in 2012, according to her biography. Since 2020, she and her husband have been serving as missionaries in Kenya where she works to train doctors in “spiritual growth and surgical skill” at AIC Kijabe Hospital, a faith-based hospital.

“I have personally operated on a school shooting victim. I have told too many parents and family members that their loved ones are dead as a result of gun violence. ENOUGH IS ENOUGH,” Dr Grayson wrote. 

On Twitter, Dr Grayson questioned why children were being “massacred” in schools and called upon people to “VOTE like your life & your child’s life depends on it” and support organisations that research, advocate, and educate for gun reform.