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2 of the Nashville child-killer's victims were friends of Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee and his wife, Maria Lee

Image source: Twitter video, @GovBillLee - Screenshot

Two of the victims of the Nashville school shooting Monday were friends of Republican Gov. Bill Lee and Tennessee's first lady, Maria Lee.

While it is presently unclear whether the victims were targeted for their ties to the Republican governor, it is abundantly clear that they were dear to the Lee family.

Lee addressed his state in a video posted to social media Tuesday, noting that the attack on the Covenant School and the innocents therein was "a tragedy beyond comprehension."

"Today, many Tennesseans are feeling ... the emptiness, the lack of understanding, the desperate desire for answers, the desperate need for hope," said Lee.

"All of Tennessee was hurt yesterday, but some parents woke up without children. Children woke up without parents, without teachers. And spouses woke up without their loved ones."

Among those murdered on Monday was Cynthia Peak, 61, a substitute teacher at the Christian elementary school, reported ABC News.

Peak's family said in a statement, "Cindy was a pillar of the community, and a teacher beloved by all her students. ... Her favorite roles in life were being a mom to her three children, a wife to her husband, and an educator to students."

"She never wavered in her faith and we know she is wrapped in the arms of Jesus," her family added.

The governor noted that his wife, Maria, "woke up this morning without one of her best friends."

Maria Lee's best friend was apparently none other than Cynthia Peak.

"Cindy was supposed to come over to have dinner with Maria last night after she filled in as a substitute teacher yesterday at Covenant," said Lee.

The Tennessean reported that Peak was also a longtime friend of Louisiana state Rep. Chuck Owen (R).

Owen noted that Peak "came from a family of genuinely good people. ... They are just good citizens. They do what the Bible says."

Lee revealed that Tennessee's first lady had also been close with the Christian school's headmaster, Dr. Katherine Koonce, among those slain in the attack.

Nashville City Councilman Russ Pulley told Fox News that Koonce ran toward the transsexual shooter after the first shot.

"She did what principals and headmasters do; she protected her children," said Pulley. "In addition, she prepared the school by seeking advanced-level active-shooter training, and from witnesses at the scene, this protocol – details of which I cannot provide – saved countless lives."

Nashville police chief John Drake indicated that on the basis of how "she was lying in the hallway," it was clear "there was a confrontation."

The governor noted that "Cindy and Maria and Katherine Koonce were all teachers at the same school and have been family friends for decades."
Maria Lee's bio indicates that she worked at Christ Presbyterian Academy for 14 years, where she taught both third and fourth grades and coached various sports.
"Everyone is hurting. Everyone," Lee stated in the video, "Remembering that as we grieve and we walk together will be the way we honor those who we lost. We can all agree on one thing: that every human life has great value and we will act to prevent this from happening again."
The governor underscored that "the battle is not against flesh and blood. It's not against people. The struggle is against evil itself."

Tennessee Republicans recently passed legislation to protect children from genital mutilations and other confusion-affirming medical interventions. Lee signed the bill into law on March 2, despite threats from LGBT activists.

Majority Leader William Lamberth (R) said in House debates over the legislation, "These children do not need these medical procedures to be able to flourish as adults. ... They need mental health treatment. They need love and support, and many of them need to be able to grow up to become the individuals that they were intended to be."

Lee previously noted that he was "grateful to the leadership in both houses who have worked to protect kids along those lines."

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