Police in Nashville are still digging into the background and motivations of a former student who entered a Christian elementary school armed with AR-style weapons and detailed maps and opened fire, killing three children and three adults.
If you are just reading in, here’s the latest on the shooting and investigation:
The shooter: The person was identified as 28-year-old Audrey Hale. Hale was shot and killed by police during the Monday attack, and left behind “drawn out” maps of the Covenant School detailing “how this was all going to take place,” Metro Nashville Police Chief John Drake said. As police work to piece together what led up to the violence, officials said they had determined where the shooter lived in the Nashville area and have interviewed Hale’s father.
Hale, who attended the Christian school years ago, left writings that pertain to the shooting and had scouted a second possible attack location in Nashville, “but because of a threat assessment by the suspect – there’s too much security – they decided not to,” police chief said.The writings revealed that the attack at Covenant School “was calculated and planned,” Metro Nashville said.
So far, little is known about the shooter. Hale graduated from Nossi College of Art & Design in Nashville last year, the president of the school confirmed to CNN, and a LinkedIn profile says Hale worked as a freelance graphic designer and a part-time grocery shopper.
Police have referred to Hale as the “female shooter” and at an evening press conference added that Hale was transgender. When asked for clarification, a spokesperson told CNN Hale used “male pronouns” on a social media profile.
The weapons: The shooter was “someone that had multiple rounds of ammunition, prepared for confrontation with law enforcement, prepared to do more harm than was actually done,” the police chief said in a news conference.
Three weapons – an AR-style rifle, an AR-style pistol and a handgun – were found and police believe Hale obtained at least two of the weapons legally, Drake said. A search warrant executed at Hale’s home also resulted in the seizure of a sawed-off shotgun, a second shotgun and other evidence, according to police.
The victims: All three students shot and killed were 9 years old. They were identified as Evelyn Dieckhaus, Hallie Scruggs and William Kinney. Three adults killed in the shooting were identified as 61-year-old Cynthia Peak, 60-year-old Katherine Koonce and 61-year-old Mike Hill, police said. Two Covenant School employees are among the victims of Monday’s mass shooting, according to the school.
What is expected to happen today: Investigators were expected to spend Tuesday processing the scene and gathering more details about what happened during the roughly 14 minutes of terror at the elementary school.
Mass shootings in America: The attack marked the 19th shooting at a school or university so far in 2023 in which at least one person was wounded, according to a CNN tally. With six victims, the shooting at Covenant is the deadliest school shooting since the attack in Uvalde, Texas, last May left 21 people dead.
Read more about the shooting here.