In a heartbreaking incident, Nashville police have revealed that a 28-year-old former student, who identified as transgender, entered the Covenant School and shot and killed six people, including three young children. Audrey Hale, who went by the name Aiden and used he/him pronouns, carried out the attack with at least two assault weapons and a handgun. Police uncovered a detailed manifesto and maps of the school, indicating the attack was meticulously planned. “‘We have a manifesto, we have some writings that we’re going over that pertain to this day,’ Nashville Metropolitan Police Chief John Drake said about the discovery.”
On Monday morning, Hale entered the Covenant School, a private Christian academy, by shooting through a side door. Inside, Hale killed three 9-year-olds, Evelyn Dieckhaus, Hallie Scruggs, and William Kinney, as well as custodian Mike Hill, substitute teacher Cynthia Peak, and school head Katherine Koonce. Hale encountered officers on the second floor and was killed just 14 minutes after the alarm was raised.
Nashville Metropolitan Police Chief John Drake stated that Hale was “prepared to do more harm than was actually done” and had plans to attack another school in the area. However, Hale abandoned the plans because the other school was too secure. The motive for the attack is still under investigation, but it is thought that Hale’s transgender identity could be a factor.
The Covenant School, located in Nashville’s affluent Green Hills neighborhood, is a small Christian school with around 200 students enrolled. The school focuses on biblical theology and integrates Bible classes with standard education courses.
“There’s some belief that there was some resentment for having to go to that school.”Nashville Metropolitan Police Chief John Drake
Authorities believe that Hale may have harbored resentment for having to attend the Christian school. Chief Drake stated that Hale appeared to target random students, firing rounds at whoever she came in contact with. Hale attended the Covenant School as a third and fourth-grader but appears to have transferred afterwards.
The shooter had no prior police record or documented mental health problems. Police are in contact with Hale’s father and plan to release video footage of the shooting in the coming days.
The tragic events in Nashville have shaken the community and raised questions about what could have motivated such a senseless act of violence.