The Deadly Covenant School Shooting: A Transgender Shooter’s Planned Attack
On February 27, 2023, Audrey Hale, a 28-year-old transgender person, carried out a mass shooting at The Covenant School in Nashville, Tennessee. Hale killed six people, including three students aged nine, substitute teacher Cynthia Peak, school head Katherine Koonce, and custodian Mike Hill. Hale had legally purchased seven firearms from five different gun stores in the area and used two assault-style rifles and one handgun in the shooting. The Collective writings found in Hale's vehicle and home revealed that the shooting was planned over a period of months, and Hale had considered the actions of other mass murderers.
Hale's friend from high school revealed that Hale would dress up as transgender star Elliot Page every Spirit Week before she started her transition. In 2023, Hale had expressed on Facebook a desire to use he/him pronouns and the name Aiden. Police confirmed that Hale was transgender, but they haven't specified further details. Hale was born female, but a LinkedIn profile believed to be hers uses he/him pronouns, suggesting Hale was living as a man.
Since May 2022, the Covenant School shooting has been recorded as the most fatal mass shooting in the United States, surpassing the Robb Elementary School shooting in Uvalde, Texas. It marked the 19th shooting at a school or university in just the past three months that left at least one person wounded. This year, there have been 130 mass shootings in the US resulting in at least four wounded, not including this one. This particular shooting is the most lethal school shooting in the US since the Uvalde, Texas massacre in May of last year, which claimed the lives of 21 individuals.
During the execution of a search warrant at the shooter's residence, authorities discovered a suicide note, weapons, and ammunition. The inventory of items seized by investigators revealed that the shooter had killed six people at a Nashville school last week. The heavily armed shooter crawled through the shattered glass doors and entered the school, armed with two rifles and a handgun. Hale fired 152 rounds of ammunition over a period of 14 minutes before being killed by police.
In Tennessee, there is no provision for a “red flag” law, which permits a judge to temporarily confiscate firearms from an individual suspected of posing a danger to themselves or others. Despite this, authorities have stated that they were unaware of Hale's problems, and there is currently no proof that Hale was perceived as a danger before this week. Hale's childhood friend also revealed the killer sent her disturbing messages minutes before the attack, saying “I'm planning to die today” and it would be on the news.
The Covenant School, a ministry of Covenant Presbyterian Church, said in a statement, “Our community is heartbroken. We are grieving tremendous loss and are in shock coming out of the terror that shattered our school and church.” The FBI's Behavioral Analysis Unit is analyzing Hale's manifesto before releasing it to the public.
0. “Art instructor says Nashville school shooter was ‘suffering' in recent social media posts” WAAY, 29 Mar. 2023, https://www.waaytv.com/news/nation-world/art-instructor-says-nashville-school-shooter-was-suffering-in-recent-social-media-posts/article_af5c3209-321d-5a38-9a34-a153b1087847.html
1. “Suicide note and weapons found when police searched the Nashville shooter's home, warrant shows” WKTV, 4 Apr. 2023, https://www.wktv.com/news/national/suicide-note-and-weapons-found-when-police-searched-the-nashville-shooters-home-warrant-shows/article_86275915-704b-5a44-875b-e7dace9fb297.html
2. “Covenant School Shooting: Suicide note, yearbooks, journals with ‘school shootings’ references found in shooter’s home” WKRN News 2, 3 Apr. 2023, https://www.wkrn.com/news/local-news/nashville/covenant-school-mass-shooting/items-found-nashville-school-shooter-home-search/
3. “Audrey Hale, Nashville shooting suspect, dressed up as trans actress Eliott Page for Spring Week every year: Report” Opoyi, 29 Mar. 2023, https://opoyi.com/usa/audrey-hale-nashville-shooting-suspect-dressed-up-as-trans-actress-eliott-page-for-spring-week-every-year-report
4. “Art instructor says Nashville school shooter was ‘suffering' in recent social media posts” kuna noticias y kuna radio, 29 Mar. 2023, https://kesq.com/news/2023/03/28/heartbroken-nashville-community-grapples-with-school-shooting-as-police-uncover-more-details-about-the-shooter
5. “Transgender shooter's manifesto WILL be released to the public as soon as FBI has analyzed it” Daily Mail, 30 Mar. 2023, https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-11917903/Transgender-shooters-manifesto-released-public-soon-FBI-analyzed-it.html
6. “Suicide note, weapons and ammunition found in Nashville shooter's home, officials say” AOL, 4 Apr. 2023, https://www.aol.com/suicide-note-weapons-ammunition-found-152613889.html
7. “Raid at Audrey Hale's home yields 20 journals, 5 Covenant yearbooks — as Gov. Lee proposes $140M to arm school guards” New York Post , 4 Apr. 2023, https://nypost.com/2023/04/04/raid-at-nashville-shooter-audrey-hales-home-yields-journals-covenant-yearbooks
8. “Nashville police find suicide note, yearbooks, weapons, ammo at school shooter Audrey Hale’s home: report” Yahoo Life, 4 Apr. 2023, https://www.yahoo.com/lifestyle/nashville-police-suicide-note-yearbooks-165651622.html
9. “Chilling manifesto left behind by Nashville school shooting suspect to be released to public” The Independent, 30 Mar. 2023, https://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/americas/crime/nashville-school-shooting-manifesto-audrey-hale-b2310865.html
10. “Nashville shooter Audrey Hale's manifesto to be released after FBI review: official” New York Post , 29 Mar. 2023, https://nypost.com/2023/03/29/nashville-shooter-audrey-hales-manifesto-will-be-released