Nashville Ex-Student With Detailed Plan To Kill
The former student who shot through the doors of a Christian elementary school in Nashville and killed three children and three adults had drawn a detailed map of the school, including potential entry points, and conducted surveillance of the building before carrying out the massacre.
Metropolitan Nashville Police Chief John Drake did not say exactly what drove the shooter to open fire Monday morning at The Covenant School before being killed by police. But he provided chilling examples of the shooter’s elaborate planning for the targeted attack, the latest in a series of mass shootings in a country that has grown increasingly unnerved by bloodshed in schools.
“We have a manifesto, we have some writings that we’re going over that pertain to this date, the actual incident,” he told reporters. “We have a map drawn out of how this was all going to take place.”
He said in an interview with NBC News that investigators believe the shooter had “some resentment for having to go to that school.”
The victims included three 9-year-old children, the school’s top administrator, a substitute teacher and a custodian. Amid the chaos a familiar ritual played out: Panicked parents rushed to the school to see if their children were safe and tearfully hugged their kids, and a stunned community held vigils for the victims.
Rachel Dibble, who was at a nearby church where children were taken to be reunited with their parents, described the scene as everyone being in “complete shock.”
“People were involuntarily trembling,” she said. “The children … started their morning in their cute little uniforms, they probably had some Froot Loops and now their whole lives changed today.”
Police gave unclear information on the gender of the shooter. For hours, police identified the shooter as a 28-year-old woman and eventually identified the person as Audrey Elizabeth Hale. Then at a late afternoon press conference, the police chief said that Hale was transgender. After the news conference, police spokesperson Don Aaron declined to elaborate on how Hale currently identified.
Authorities said Hale was armed with two “assault-style” weapons as well as a handgun. At least two of them were believed to have been obtained legally in the Nashville area, according to the Chief. Police said a search of Hale’s home turned up a sawed-off shotgun, a second shotgun and other unspecified evidence.
The victims were identified as Evelyn Dieckhaus, Hallie Scruggs, and William Kinney, all 9 years old, and adults Cynthia Peak, 61; Katherine Koonce, 60; and Mike Hill, 61.
See CCTV footage released by Metropolitan Nashville Police Department showing the shooter driving in her Honda Fit to the school and shooting her way into the school’s corridor.