Audrey Hale, the 28-year-old Nashville resident, who opened fire inside a Christian elementary school in Tennessee on Monday, is only the fifth non-male mass shooter in US history, data reveals. Police identified Hale as a transgender who shot dead three children and three adults after storming into The Covenant School with two assault-style rifles.
Hale was shot and killed by police after a roughly 14-minute shooting spree. Authorities said that she had a detailed manifesto to attack the Christian academy and was heavily armed. Nashville police released images of the two semi-automatic rifles and the handgun Hale was carrying during the massacre on Monday.
Only the Fifth Non-Male
Hale, who was identified by police as transgender, stormed into The Covenant School with two assault-style weapons, a pistol, and killed three children and three adults. This makes her only the fifth non-male mass shooter in the United States.
The Violence Project database shows that only 2 percent of mass shooters nationwide are female, the New York Post reported.
Only four of the 191 mass shooters the database has documented since 1966—which does not yet include the massacre in Nashville—are female.
The data reveals that two of the four women had collaborated with a male gunman. The Violence Project's national database defines a mass shooting as involving four or more dead victims, according to the outlet.
Brenda Spencer, one of the more well-known female mass shooters, is not included in the database. Spencer started shooting at Cleveland Elementary School in San Diego in January 1979 when he was 16 years old.
Eight children were hurt in the shooting, and the principal and the custodian of the school died. When asked why she committed the atrocity, Spencer, who is still in a California prison, famously said, "I don't like Mondays. This livens up the day."
Some prominent female mass murderers have made headlines in more recent years, like YouTube gunman Nasim Aghdam.
In 2018, Aghdam allegedly broke into the company's headquarters in the San Francisco area after growing angry with the video platform, according to the authorities.
She injured three other people before shooting herself.
In 2015, 14 people were killed and 17 others were injured when Tashfeen Malik and her husband Syed Farook opened fire at a social services center in San Bernardino, California.
Both suspects were killed in a shootout with police that followed.
Women and Guns
The same year, 23-year-old Latina Williams shot and killed two of her classmates at Louisiana Technical College in Baton Rouge. She shot herself in the head immediately after that.
In 2006, Jennifer San Marco shot and killed six postal workers at a Goleta, California, sorting facility where she had previously worked. San Marco had also killed a former neighbor earlier that day with a gun.
Police said that Hale then opened fire, killing six people including three children. The victims were killed at random.
According to police, Hale was born a female, but a LinkedIn page that is believed to be hers uses the pronouns he/him, implying that Hale was living as a man.
Hale was a former student of the school, according to the police. According to Hale's LinkedIn profile, she was listed as a graphic designer and illustrator with pronouns listed as he/him.
According to Nashville police chief John Drake, Hale left a manifesto on Monday night that suggested he was harboring resentment over being sent to a Christian school.
Norma Hale, Hale's mother, was a coordinator at a nearby church and frequently discussed religion on Facebook.
"The person we know as Audrey Hale, she's a 28-year-old Nashvillan. We have belief that she went to school in the area - at that actual school.
"There's some belief that there was some resentment for having to go to that school," said Drake, speaking to NBC News.
"Don't have all the details to that just yet and that's why this incident occurred."
Nashville police said Hale used a car to get to school, which cops claim made it easier to identify her. "Active shooter Audrey Elizabeth Hale, 28, drove this Honda Fit to the Covenant Church/school campus this morning and parked," the police tweeted.
Police said Hale carried at least two assault rifles in addition to a handgun. She had a comprehensive attack manifesto and blueprints in her family's Nashville house, which police raided.
"We have a manifesto, we have some writings that we're going over that pertain to this day," Nashville Metropolitan police chief John Drake said about the discovery.
According to him, Hale had plans to target another nearby school but abandoned them because the building was too guarded since she was "prepared to do more harm than was actually done."
He said her manifesto has been handed over to the FBI.