The Nashville school shooter, Audrey Hale identified as transgender had a detailed manifesto about how she was going to carry out her attack. Armed with two high-powered rifles and a pistol, Hale Hale killed 6 innocent people before she was killed by law enforcement during the 14-minute ordeal. The one thing unique about the shooter is that it was not a male this time.
Audrey Elizabeth Hale, 28, wielded two assault rifles and a pistol as she blasted her way through a Tennessee Christian school on Monday, killing three children and three adults. Hale herself a Nashville native previously, attended the school and was shot dead by law enforcement.
The Tennessee Covenant School is a small Presbyterian school with about 50 staff members and 200 students from preschool through sixth grade.
This tragic story is still evolving as much is not known about Hale, her gender issues and personality.
Not an impulsive action
One thing is for sure- Audrey Hale carefully planned this deadly attack. This was not a spontaneous or an impulsive reaction gone wrong. Early evidence reveals that Hale not only visited the school to check it out but had detailed maps of entry areas and all types of writing. She had carefully planned the attack and even knew which entrance she would be using. Once inside the school, the CCTV images she appears calm and collected.
Law enforcement said that Hale had legally purchased seven guns from local stores, three of which were used to gun down the victims at the school.
Early Monday morning, Hale left home with a large red bag but her mother had no idea what was inside the bag. The mother did not reveal anything out of the ordinary that morning. The 14 minutes of violence was partially caught on CCTV. Hale can be seen wearing a red hat, military pants and a dark vest- she entered the school by shooting at the side door. Then she casually walks along the hallways searching for her victims. The school did have an active shooter protocol but it is not known if it was in place at the time of the shooting.
Law enforcement reveals that Hale lived with her parents and was under the care of a physician for an emotional disorder but whether she was on any treatment remains a mystery. What is even more astounding is that with a history of mental health disorder she was still able to access deadly weapons. So far, it appears that her parents did not know that she had a cache of weapons in the home. The latest news is that the parents were aware that Hale had a gun which she had already sold.
Another confusing bit of information is that Hale also identified as transgender but it is not clear where the suspect identified as female or a male. On some social media accounts, Hale used male pronouns and the name Aiden.
Perhaps a reason for the shooting may be related to the transphobic beliefs by Christians. Many Christian schools in the US only believe there are two genders, do not advocate transgender surgery and restrict children from learning about gender identity disorders in school. It could very well be that Hale may have felt slighted by the Covenant School’s view on transgender individuals-but why she felt the need to kill children is a mystery.
Law enforcement is now working with mental health professionals to determine if Hale’s identity may have been a factor in the shootings. Other than being a former student at the Tennessee Christian Covenant School, law enforcement has not been able to identify any other connection to Hale.
However, less than 20 minutes before the shooting, Halse sent a sinister instagram to Averlanna Patton, a former basketball teammate saying, “I’m planning to die today.” Patton told CNN, ‘I knew her well when we were kids. But I did not know the adult..I do not know that side of her.’ Patton said she has not had any type of relationship with Hale as an adult and always referred to Audrey Hale as a ‘she.’ Patton received the instagram message at 9.57 am which read “One day this will make more sense. I’ve left more than enough evidence behind. But something bad is about to happen,” Patton has no idea why Hale decided to get in touch with her.
Patton added that on the basketball court, Hale was “very quiet, very shy,” but she loved to joke and laugh.
“We got to see her grow in her skill on the court. We did really good that year. We went all the way to the city (championships), so it was a really good year for us. We had a real camaraderie,” Patton told CNN.
A former teacher reported that over the past 12 months. Hale had posted some text about the death of a female whom she knew while playing basketball. At that time she used male pronouns and requested to be referred to by the name Aiden.
Soon after the shooting, police raided Hale’s home and found detailed maps of the school, the entry points and a manifesto. In fact Hale also had targeted another local school but aborted the plans because of its tight security.
Based on Facebook postings, it appears that Hale’s mother, Norma Fort Hale, has been working as a coordinator at the Village Chapel, a local Nashville church. In 2017, the mother was happy to post childhood photos about Hale and her brother with the caption, “Just grateful today to be the Mom of these 2 awesome kids!” .
In 2018, the mother posted a link to the petition ‘keep guns out of school’ in connection to the Sandy Hook massacre in 2012. Hale’s father is self-employed but not much is known about him. Neighbors described the family as quiet and friendly.
Hale is unique in the sense that women make up less than 2% of mass shooters in the nation and she is just the fifth mass female shooter in US history and perhaps the first transgender.
As far as the transgender link and the shooting is concerned, it is a little too early to make that judgment because not enough is known about Hale’s medical or past history. The few isolated postings on social media are suggestive of gender identity issues but law enforcement has cautioned people not to make any type of judgment until more is known. Because of confidentiality issues, law enforcement has not divulged what they know about Hale to the media.
Whether Hale identified herself as a male or female is irrelevant; the fact is that 6 innocent people lost their lives.