‘It was awful:’ Crisis counselor who responded to Covenant shooting shares her experience

by Jackie DelPilar, Fox 17 News

March 27, 2023, started like any other for Haley Moore, a crisis counselor with Partners in Care.

The program responds to calls alongside Metro Nashville Police, helping people who are experiencing mental health crisis.

“I told the officers, I’m just something on your tool belt that can help you,” Moore said.

A few hours into her shift, Moore and MNPD got the dreaded call: an active shooter at a nearby school.

“It’s something you never expect to happen. I personally didn’t want to believe that it was real,” she said.

Moore knew her counseling services would help the Covenant School families.

She responded to a nearby fire hall and the Woodmont Baptist Church, the location established as a reunification center where families connected with students.

“When we walked into the fire hall, it’s something that will be etched in my mind for the rest of my life. The kids were singing Amazing Grace. And that is something that will stick with me for a long time,” she said.

Haley used her counseling skills to meet the children at their level, providing support for each individual need.

“You had kids holding each other to be supportive. You had kids still playing games,” Moore said.

Parts of the day still haunt her, including the moments some parents learned their child would not be coming home.

“It was just it was awful. I’ll leave it at that. It was awful. The mothers, the mom’s scream is something I will never get out of my head,” she said.

Moore also witnessed moments of joy in an otherwise horrific day, as parents hugged their babies for the first time since the shooting.

“There’s so much anxiety built up in ‘where are my kids, I just want to hold my kids, I just want to touch my kids. I just need to see them,’ for so much of the day. And then to be able to say to these parents and bring them to their children, where the kids would be like ‘I got snacks!’ and the mom was like ‘you’re here!’ really big. It was a very happy moment in a day of a lot of sorrow,” she said.

Moore says days like this fuel her passion to serve the community in good times and bad.

She wants the public to know, she and her colleagues are always working hard and trying their best to make Nashville safer for everyone.


Source: Fox 17 News