Reporter makes stunning on-air confession while reporting on Nashville school shooting

Six people were killed Monday when a former student opened fire at The Covenant School in Nashville. Three students, all nine years old, and three school employees were killed.

While reporting on the scene, Joylyn Bukovac a reporter for the local news WSMV, made a stunning announcement. She too was a survivor of a school shooting.

“This is something that hits very close to home for me — many of you might not know this, but I am actually a school shooting survivor,” Bukovac said on air. “It happened a while ago — I was in middle school.”


Bukovac recalled the horror she lived years earlier as a 13-year-old attending Discovery Middle School in Madison, Alabama.

“I was in the hallway when the gunman at my school opened fire, shooting and killing one of my peers. Just the shock that moves through your body, I can’t even describe it. You just go into true fight or flight,” she said. “I hid underneath the risers in my choir class, my phone was taken away, it was turned off. I was trying to call my mom to tell her what was going on and she found out through the news.”

She explained that one of the hardest things was not having her phone, thus losing contact with the outside world.

“My family from all over the country, they were trying to get in contact with me and they couldn’t. It was just madness that was going on.”

Bukovac said she was able to emphasize with those who rushed to The Covenant School anxiously waiting to learn the fate of their children.

“So I knew exactly when I arrived on scene, I saw people running, people on their phones, I knew exactly what they were going through because my family was on the end of it, trying to get in contact with me whenever I was hiding.”

“My heart broke for those families and at the same time my fight or flight response. Adrenaline was just pumping through my veins because I know what those kids were experiencing, unfortunately, and I know what it’s like to hide from a shooter,” she told WSMV.

Bukovac, who is now a mother herself, also shared some advice for parents of children affected by school shootings.

“If you do have a student that is nearby or saw what unfolded be gentle with them.”

She went on to explain the best thing a caregiver can do is “open up a lot of communication, offer to talk about it but if they’re not wanting to that’s understandable.”

After she was the victim of a school shooting she didn’t talk about her experience for two years.

“I wasn’t really ready to talk about it for two years really. So just give them some time — if they’re not ready to talk, don’t be overly concerned; everyone copes in their own way, so just really be there for them and open up that line of communication.”

According to reports, 28-year-old Audrey Hale, a former student of The Covenant School, entered the private Christian school Monday around 10 a.m. with at least two assault-style weapons and a handgun.

When Nashville police arrived on the scene, they entered the school on the first floor. They heard gunfire coming from the second floor and “immediately went to the gunfire.” Officers shot and killed the suspect.

Three students and three school employees were shot and died from their wounds. One police officer was injured by glass.

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