The Nashville, Tennessee, Police believe the school shooter may have had plans to target a local mall and family members but “too much security” turned her away.
On Monday, 28-year-old Audrey Hale, a woman who was transgender and went by “he/him” pronouns, shot through Covenant School doors before firing at and killing three children and three adults. Nashville Police believe that Hale, a former student at the school, “had some history there” and “possibly some resentment,” according to CBS News.
“It was the only school that was targeted,” Nashville Police Chief John Drake Drake said in a Monday press conference. “There was another location that was mentioned, but because of a threat assessment by the suspect of too much security, they decided not to. That area was here in Nashville, so we’re continuing with that investigation as well.”
Active shooter Audrey Elizabeth Hale drove to Covenant Church/School in her Honda Fit this morning, parked, and shot her way into the building. She was armed with 2 assault-type guns and a 9 millimeter pistol. pic.twitter.com/mIk2pDmCwQ
— Metro Nashville PD (@MNPDNashville) March 28, 2023
At 10:13 a.m., the Nashville Police Department received a call that there was an active shooter in the school and after arriving on scene, they engaged with Hale and killed her. Hale was suspected to be heavily armed, carrying two “assault-type” rifles and a handgun.
More than 200 students attend the private Christian elementary school with about 42 staff members working at the school district.
The increasing frequency of school shootings throughout the country has led to calls for more gun control, while many Republicans argue the solution is to arm school faculty and staff. The Tennessee legislature is currently considering a bill that would increase the number of school employees that are armed, according to WPLN News.
Upon searching Hale’s home, authorities found two more weapons and maps “pertaining to maybe some thinking about some other incidents,” CBS News reported. Hale’s attack on the school is believed to be “targeted and planned.”
“We strongly believe there was going to be some other targets, including maybe family members, and one of the malls here in Nashville,” Drake told the outlet. “And that just did not happen.”
“What detectives have said so far is there’s possibly some resentment for having to go to that school,” Drake told CBS News.
Just minutes before the shooting, Hale told her former middle school basketball teammate that she planned to commit suicide. In an Instagram direct message, Hale said she “had left more than enough evidence behind” and that “something bad” was about to happen.
“We have a manifesto, we have a booklet, that shows the [sic] exactly what she had planned to do,” Drake told CBS News. “We have maps that show the entry point into the school, the weapons that were going to be used, the clothing that she was gonna wear, and she had drawn it up, almost like a cartoon character. It was exactly what she had on during this incident.”
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