Christian music singer Steven Curtis Chapman is taking some time to remember his close friend Katherine Koonce, one of the six victims of the Nashville school shooting.
In an interview with Anderson Cooper for CNN’s “AC360” on Wednesday, Chapman described Koonce as “an amazing person” who would “move towards, step into trouble, pain, hard things” in order to help others.
Koonce, 60, was the head of The Covenant School, a ministry of Covenant Presbyterian Church, in Nashville, Tennessee. She was killed by a shooter on Monday morning along with two other adults and three 9-year-old students.
The Grammy-winning musician shared that when he and his wife first heard what was happening on Monday, “we knew Katherine was there, we knew she was the head of the school, and my wife even said… ‘I know her well enough to know that she was probably doing everything she could to change this story, to stop this thing from happening, to talk to this person, whatever she could do.’”
Chapman said that Koonce’s “life marked our family so significantly,” detailing how Koonce stepped in as an educator and friend to help attend to and work with his children after his youngest daughter died in 2008 in a tragic driveway accident.
“When we lost our younger daughter Maria in a very tragic way, our son Will in particular was carrying a very, very heavy weight,” Chapman said, going on to say how Koonce became a “mentor, friend, confidante, she was all of those things, and teacher.”
“As hard and as awful as that story was for us, she ran towards it,” Chapman said of his friend.
Chapman also told Cooper that Koonce’s supernatural power “was kindness.”
“She was, you know those people that you encounter if you’re fortunate enough… they see into your soul and they see something that most people miss and just pass by,” he added. “She just had this ability, that God gave her I believe, to see into the heart and the soul and the story of the student, the person she was with.”
“I really believe it’s not wishful thinking to say I know we’re going to see her again, we’re going to see our daughter again and that’s the hope that keeps us moving forward,” he said.