Authorities Reveal Shooter at Nashville Christian School Was Transgender, Had a Manifesto
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The city of Nashville and the nation are reeling from the shooting that took place Monday morning at the Covenant School, a private Christian school with 200 students from preschool through sixth grade. Today, new details are coming out as police have even released disturbing images showing how the deadly events unfolded.
The shooter has now been identified as Audrey Hale, a 28-year-old female who identifies as transgender. Hale was reportedly a former student at the Christian school and had planned out the massacre well in advance.
New surveillance video shows Hale driving up to the school and firing through a glass door to gain entry. The shooter was armed with two assault-style weapons and a pistol. Once inside, authorities say Hale shot and killed six people.
"Three of those were children, two of them were age nine, one of them was age eight, about to be nine," said Chief John Drake, with the Metro Nashville Police Dept., during a Monday night press conference.
The young victims are identified as Evelyn Dieckhaus, William Kinney, and Hallie Scruggs, who was the daughter of the Pastor of Covenant Presbyterian Church. The head of the school, Katherine Koonce, was also killed, along with teacher Cynthia Peak, and custodian Mike Hill.
According to police, Hale then fired at officers from a second-story window of the school. Two officers ran toward that gunfire, shooting and killing her just 14 minutes after the first 911 call.
Overnight, investigators found more guns and evidence at Hale's home, including detailed maps, surveillance of the school, and a manifesto, all revealing a planned, targeted attack. So far, police have yet to release a motive.
In Washington, politicians were quick to turn this deadly shooting into yet another debate over gun reform.
"This person had two AR-15's and a handgun. You don't need this to go hunting. You don't need that to protect your family," said Rep. Jared Moskowitz (D-FL).
Rep. Tim Burchett, who represents Knoxville, TN., called the shooting, "horrible," but says there's no need to ban assault weapons.
"I don't think you're gonna stop the gun violence... the common thread is you've got somebody who's mentally ill and evil," Burchett told reporters.
As Nashville residents struggle to cope with the tragedy, the community came together for a prayer vigil Monday night. City leaders, law enforcement, and residents alike, all request continued prayer as the families of the victims grieve and the investigation into the assault continues.
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