Audrey Elizabeth Hale, the active shooter, arrived at the Covenant Church/school campus this morning in her Honda Fit and parked it.
Following this, MNPD detectives conducted a search of the vehicle and discovered further written material attributed to Hale.
Hale entered the Covenant building after shooting out the glass of these doors.
A 28-year-old transgender woman and former student of The Covenant School in Nashville shot and killed six people, including three nine-year-old children and three staff members, after writing a detailed manifesto outlining her plans.
Audrey Hale had also reportedly planned an attack on another school but decided against it due to security concerns.
According to Nashville Police Chief John Drake, the shooting began at around 10:13 a.m. when Hale opened fire at the school, killing Evelyn Dieckhaus, Hallie Scruggs, and William Kinney.
At a press conference, Nashville Police Chief John Drake identified the shooter at The Covenant School as Audrey Hale, a transgender woman who had attended the school.
Hale, 28, had a manifesto that is expected to provide insight into the motive behind the attack, according to Drake. Hale had written out detailed plans and drawn maps of the school and had also been surveilling it.
The shooting claimed the lives of three nine-year-old children, substitute teacher Cynthia Peak, head of school Katherine Koonce, and custodian Mike Hill. Although a LinkedIn page connected to an Audrey Hale in Nashville used “he/him” pronouns, Drake confirmed that Hale identifies as a woman.
Drake stated that they were currently reviewing a manifesto and some writings related to the shooting, along with a map of the school showing how the attack would unfold.
Although there is a theory that they may release later, it has not been confirmed yet. When asked if Hale’s gender identity could be related to the motive, Drake responded that they were investigating all leads and would share the information when they have more details.
The chief also mentioned that Hale had no criminal history and there was no known history of mental illness. However, the possibility of mental illness was being investigated.
Drake revealed that Hale had intended to target another school in Nashville but decided against it due to security concerns.
Sandy Durham, a neighbor who claimed to have known Hale “since she was a baby,” expressed shock and stated that there were no warning signs indicating that Hale was capable of such a heinous act.
Sean Brashears, a next-door neighbor, described Hale as a “normal, nice person” whom he used to play basketball with in his driveway.
He speculated that Audrey’s parents were probably just as surprised as everyone in the neighborhood, saying that it didn’t seem real. According to Brashears, knowing the Hale family, it was unlikely that Audrey was influenced by gun culture.
He added that there was no indication that the family owned or had access to firearms, as they were not known to talk about going to a gun range or hunting.
Six people, including three children, were tragically killed in a shooting at a private school in Nashville, with three nine-year-old children and three staff members among the victims. The small school, which is run by a church, does not have a school resource officer.
Chief Drake responded that there is a theory being considered but that all leads are being investigated, and they will provide further information as soon as possible.
The Chief confirmed that the attack was targeted.
Chief Drake stated that although there was no known history of mental illness, it was still being considered as a possible lead in the investigation.
Hale had also contemplated targeting another location, but ultimately decided against it due to the level of security present there.
The Chief believes that the perpetrator acted alone, and there is currently no indication of any further threats.
The six victims have been identified as Evelyn Dieckhaus, Hallie Scruggs, and William Kinney, all 9 years old, as well as Katherine Koonce, Cynthia Peak, and Mike Hill, all 61 years old.
Koonce was the head of school at The Covenant School, and Hill worked as a custodian while Peak was a substitute teacher, according to law enforcement officials speaking to reporters on March 27.
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