Nashville police have identified the three children and three staff members who were shot and killed by transgender female attacker Audrey Hale at a Christian elementary school in Nashville on Monday. The six victims include the private Christian academy's headmistress, a custodian and the young daughter of the school's pastor.
Officials identified the three student victims of the massacre at Covenant School in Nashville as Evelyn Dieckhaus, Hallie Scruggs, and William Kinney, all age 9. Hallie was the daughter of Chad Scruggs, the pastor at the affiliated presbyterian church. Police also confirmed that Hale was once a student of the same school, where he carried out the rampage.
Merciless Killing Spree
Hallie Scruggs, one of three children killed in the deadly school shooting, was the 9-year-old child of Chad Scruggs, the senior pastor at Covenant Presbyterian Church, the church confirmed to CBS News.
Cynthia Peak, Mike Hill, and Katherine Koonce, the head of the school, were the three faculty members who died. They were all 61 years old.
Hill was a custodian, according to the police.
Former student Audrey Hale, 28, a transgender woman, allegedly entered the school on Monday morning and started shooting at the victims before being fatally shot by police.
Police reported that she had at least two assault rifles, and a handgun, and had fired at a side entrance of the school before entering through it.
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, police said. According to Hale's LinkedIn profile, she was listed as a graphic designer and illustrator with pronouns listed as he/him.
Nashville police chief John Drake said that 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."
Motive Still Unclear
Drake said that the victims were chosen at random on NBC Nightly News with Lester Holt. "She targeted random students and persons in the school - whoever she came into contact with," Drake said.
"We feel that she identifies as trans but we are still in an initial investigation into that, and if it actually played a role in this incident.
"Right now we are unsure if that played a role."
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."
Drake said her manifesto has been handed over to the FBI.
Hale is only the fifth non-male mass shooter in US history, data reveals.
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.