Nashville school shooter Audrey Hale had meticulously planned the massacre for months and studied other mass shootings and murders before killing six people, including three children, officials said on Monday. They also said that Hale had written out her sick attack in great detail months in advance.
Hale, a 28-year-old trans, fired 152 rounds from two assault rifles and a handgun during the horrific shooting that shook the Country, cops said on Monday. She was shot dead in less than 15 minutes by two hero cops after she stormed into the Covenant School through the backdoor and opened fire on students and staff members.
Hallie Scruggs, William Kinney, Evelyn Dieckhaus, all age 9, as well as headmistress Dr. Katherine Koonce, 60, substitute teacher Cynthia Peak, 61, and cook Mike Hill, 61, were all killed in the deadly attack. Authorities have not yet revealed the motive behind the attack but said that Hale studied other mass murders for months before carrying out the carnage.
"The ongoing investigation into the March 27 murders of six persons inside The Covenant School continues to show, from all information currently available, that killer Audrey Hale acted totally alone," Metro Nashville Police Department said in a statement on Monday.
"In the collective writings by Hale found in her vehicle in the school parking lot, and others later found in the bedroom of her home, she documented, in journals, her planning over a period of months to commit mass murder at the Covenant School.
"The motive for Hale's actions has not been established and remains under investigation by the Homicide Unit in consultation with the FBI's Behavioral Analysis Unit.
"The investigation shows that Hale fired a total of 152 rounds (126 5.56 rifle rounds and 26 nine millimeter rounds) from the time she shot her way into the school until she was killed by police.
Hale had allegedly targeted the school but not the victims, according to police. She allegedly "explored" other places, including two public schools before carrying out the massacre at the Covenant School, officials had said earlier.
Hale was captured on surveillance video shooting into the school's locked side doors and crawling through the shattered glass.
Hale was next seen stalking through the school's deserted hallways as 911 calls started pouring in.
The terrifying calls—which police gave to NewsChannel5 Nashville—paint a horrific picture of the students' and staff members' anxiety as they ran from the heavily armed assailant.
Nashville police have released a set of 911 calls made during and just after the shooting. In the second of three 911 calls that have been made public an adult woman's voice can be heard above the sound of an alarm blasting in the background. She says in the call, which was made at 10:12 a.m. local time, "I think we hear gunshots."
In the background, there is a whimper that sounds like a child.
A little while later, someone can be heard saying they "want to go home".
Asked if the woman was in a safe spot, she responds: "I think so."
"We're in the art room closet. I hear another shot, I'm hearing more shots."
Police body camera footage released last week shows MNPD officers rushing into the building minutes later and engaging the shooter. Hale was fatally shot by officers Michael Collazo and Rex Engelbert after each of them fired four shots.
The FBI's Behavioral Analysis Unit is examining Hale's manifesto, a local official told The New York Post. Authorities are currently looking into Hale's potential motivation.
Bill Lee, the governor of the state, also spoke to the people on Monday and suggested stationing an armed guard at each school in the state. The governor also disclosed additional plans to invest $8 million in school-based mental health services.
According to a LinkedIn page, Hale, a transgender woman who was born Aiden, used the names Audrey and Aiden but preferred the pronouns he/him.
She had previously attended the Nashville, Tennessee, school, the police said on Tuesday, but they did not know why she had shot and killed people. Hale was suffering from an "emotional disorder" at the time of the shooting, according to police chief John Drake.
Although authorities later found that she also received medical attention, Hale had been labeled as having "high functioning" autism.
Her parents Norma and Ronald Hale were aware that she had a gun in the past, but they advised her to sell it since they didn't trust her with it. Instead, Hale concealed her arsenal and continued to add to it by purchasing a total of seven different weapons from five nearby shops.
"Law enforcement knew nothing about the treatment, and it is apparent that she should not own weapons," Chief Drake continued.
Investigators also revealed that Hale's mother, Norma, had questioned her on the morning of the killings about what was in a red backpack she was toting, but she had shrugged it off.
Moments before launching a deadly attack Hale sent an Instagram message to a friend revealing her deadly intentions. NewsChannel 5 reported that in an Instagram message sent to Averianna Patton, a former middle school basketball teammate, Hale said that she planned to die by suicide.
The message was sent at 9.57 am, minutes before the deadly shootout at the Christian school. Stating that Patton would see the report of her death on the news, Hale wrote, "So basically that post I made on here about you, that was basically a suicide note. I am planning to die today. THIS IS NOT A JOKE!!!! You'll probably heart about me on the news after I die. This is my last goodbye. I love you. See you again in another life." The message was signed as Audrey (Aiden)
Stating that she doesn't not want to live anymore and wants to die, Hale wrote, "One day this will make more sense. I've left behind more than enough evidence behind. But something bad is about to happen."
In another set of messages Hale revealed that her family is not aware of her actions. "I don't want to live. I am so sorry. I am not trying to upset you or get attention. I just need to die..... My family doesn't know what I'm about to do," read the message.
Speaking to the outlet, Patton said that she tried to comfort and encourage Hale before reaching out to the Suicide Prevention Help Line.
Stating that she also called the Nashville Davidson County Sheriff's Office at 10:13 a.m. only to be instructed to call Nashville's non-emergency number, Patton said, "I called Nashville's non-emergency line at 10:14 a.m. and was on hold for nearly seven minutes before speaking with someone who said that they would send an officer to my home. An officer did not come to my home until 3:29 p.m."
The killer's family is yet to speak publicly. Hale said in a message to a Patton that her parents were unaware of her plans.