A substitute teacher who was known for her devout Christian faith before she and five others were shot to death at an elementary school in Nashville, Tennessee, was buried Saturday.
The funeral of Cindy “CiCi” Peak, 61, was the second held for a victim of the massacre last Tuesday at the Covenant School. Evelyn Dieckhaus, one of three nine-year-olds killed during the shooting, was buried Friday.
Peak’s funeral was reportedly attended by hundreds – in a tribute to her, pastor Scott Sauls remembered her as someone who devoted her life to “the encouragement of others”. Debbie Dunlap, one of Peak’s six siblings, said that she loved her students and parents, according to NBC.
Mourners also remembered Peak as a “spitfire”, a term often used for someone who stands up passionately for their beliefs. She worked as a teacher, a swim lesson instructor, and a staff member with Cru, the US branch of an international ministry which seeks to spread Christian beliefs.
The church which held the funeral was adorned with photos of her with her children, which were also shared on a screen for those who had gone there to pay tribute to Peak, NBC reported. Her survivors include seven children, six siblings, and four grandchildren, among others, according to a memorial page by the funeral home.
The other victims of the Covenant school shooting are Hallie Scruggs and William Kinney, both age nine; the head of school Katherine Koonce, 60; and custodian Mike Hill, 61. The school has about 210 students from preschool through sixth grade, along with fewer than 45 staff members.
The Covenant killings by an intruder armed with two rifles and a handgun have reignited longstanding calls from some quarters in the US for more substantial gun control, including from Joe Biden. The president has advocated for an assault weapons ban that Congress has not been able to pass.
Police killed the intruder who carried out the murders at Covenant. Before the attack at Covenant, the shooter – identified as 28-year-old former student Audrey Hale – had legally bought seven guns and hid them at home from family members.
There had been more than 130 mass shootings in the US this year as of Sunday, according to the Gun Violence Archive, which defines a mass shooting as one where at least four people are wounded or killed, not counting the attacker. Meanwhile, according to the K-12 School Shooting Database resource, there had been more than 90 instances of gun violence at kindergarten through 12th-grade schools or during school-related activities in the US this year as of Sunday.
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