Nashville school shooter Audrey Hale was at odds with her devout Christian parents because they "couldn't accept" their 28-year-old daughter's transgender, gay lifestyle, according to a report. According to The Daily Mail, Hale's devout Christian parents, Norma, 61, and Ronald, 64, had a difficult time accepting their daughter's gender identity and sexual orientation.
John Drake, the chief of police for Metro Nashville, revealed Hale was transgender on Monday. He claimed that authorities were looking into whether Hale being transgender played a part in her intention to attack the exclusive Christian elementary school. Hale stormed a Christian private school in Nashville on Monday and opened fire inside the building killing six people before being shot dead by cops.
At Odds with Parents
Hale, who also went by "Aiden" and used he/him pronouns, allegedly changed clothes after leaving the home where she lived with her family.
"You only see what you want to see," a source told the Mail. "Their religion does not allow them to accept homosexuality."
Hale's mother oversees the Volunteers and Meals Team in the Nashville-based congregation The Village Chapel. "She was Audrey at home but when she left the house she changed clothes. They did know about it, they just didn't accept it," the source added.
While recalling Hale as a "skater, tomboy type," neighbors in the tree-lined suburban neighborhood where the family spent three decades claimed they were unaware of her sudden change.
"She introduced herself about a year and a half ago as Audrey," one neighbor told the outlet.
"I treated her like a female and she didn't correct me. She seemed artistic, quiet, and well-mannered."
According to police, Hale had plans to carry out other attacks, including ones against her own family.
"We've talked to the father and the mother. We searched the home and found two more weapons there and some more maps, pertaining to thinking about some other incidents.
"We strongly believe there were going to be some other targets, including family members, and one of the malls here in Nashville and it just did not happen," Drake told CBS on Tuesday.
Hale was the picture of innocence, posing sweetly with a bow in her hair in her eighth-grade yearbook photo from The Covenant School. Twenty years later, Hale had turned a killer after facing rejection from her Christian family after coming out to them as gay.
On Monday, she murdered three innocent children and three teachers at the same school where her photo was shot when she was a kid.
It's still unclear why she chose that particular facility.
Killing with Vengeance
Hale was shot dead at The Covenant School before she could commit any more murders, according to the police, who also claim that she planned to attack a mall and family members.
Little is yet known about Hale's transformation from the "sweet" girl described by neighbors to the deadly shooter who wrote a killing manifesto and even created a cartoon depicting her attack strategy.
According to the police, she was being treated for an "emotional illness," and her parents believed she had given up using weapons.
They were aware that she once owned a single firearm, but they believed she had sold it.
Actually, Hale was stockpiling her arsenal. She made five distinct store visits and acquired seven guns in total.
She drove up to the Covenant School in her Honda Fit just before 10 am and started the massacre but was struck down by two hero officers Rex Englebert and Michael Collazo, and was dead by 10.27 am.
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.
Two more guns were recovered from her house in addition to the three weapons that were discovered at the scene. It is not known if they were also registered to Hale. According to police sources, Hale had 'high functioning' autism.