Last week, police conducted a search of Audrey Hale’s home in Nashville and discovered a disturbing cache of weapons and ammunition. Among the items found were seven guns, ammunition, Covenant School yearbooks, and a school photo. In addition, multiple journals were uncovered, which contained entries on “school shootings” and “firearm courses.
Audrey Hale, who identified as transgender, was a former student at Covenant School more than a decade ago. On March 27, Hale opened fire at the Christian elementary school, killing three children and three staff members. Police confirmed that Hale acted alone and had been planning the attack for months. They also noted that the shooter had considered the actions of other mass murderers in formulating their strategy.
Although police initially claimed to have found a manifesto detailing Hale’s plan of attack, they have not yet released a definitive motive. A widely shared quote from Hale’s alleged manifesto, “You mess with our kids, we kill your kids,” could not be confirmed by the Nashville Police Department’s public affairs director, who claimed it was a misunderstanding of a tweet by conservative commentator Jack Posobiec.
Many have called for the contents of Hale’s manifesto to be made public, hoping for an insight into the killer’s state of mind. Others, however, have urged the police to keep the manifesto under wraps, citing negative consequences to its publication. The Metropolitan Nashville Police Department has stated that it will not be releasing the manifesto during an open investigation.
Hale entered Covenant School armed with three legally purchased guns and fired 152 rounds during the attack. The shooting lasted for only 14 minutes before police arrived on the scene and fatally shot Hale. The victims, including three nine-year-old students, a school custodian, a substitute teacher, and school head Katherine Koonce, were believed to have been chosen at random. The investigation into this senseless act of violence continues.
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