Nashville school shooter Audrey Hale was "heartbroken" over the 2022 death of a girl she was "infatuated" with, who he had played on the same basketball team, according to reports. Trans shooter Hale is said to have been obsessed with Sydney Sims, his middle school basketball teammate who was killed in a vehicle accident in August 2022.
Hale had been deeply affected by her death, which could have led to the massacre at the Christian school in Nashville that left six people killed, including three children. However, the grieving twin has lashed out at "disgusting" suggestions that her sister's tragic car crash death triggered the shooting at The Covenant School.
Sims, who died in a car accident in August 2022, according to an obituary, severely impacted the "tomboyish" Hale, according to Samira Hardcastle, who told The New York Post.
Hardcastle, who was a classmate of both Hale and Sims, said, "After Sydney's tragic death, Audrey was really heartbroken over it ... I just feel like she took it differently than some of us did. She was still posting about Sydney almost daily.
"What I knew of her was more admiring [Sydney]. Maybe even infatuation. That's specifically who she really, really looked up to."
Hale, who the police said was transgender and had begun to identify using he/him pronouns, released a TikTok in February on an account named "iam aiden10" in honor of "Syd." The account since been deleted
The video clip displayed a basketball being bounced by a shadowy figure with the words, "For Syd. I look up the sky is bright. It's a beautiful day. I wish you were here..."
Hardcastle claimed that she had last seen Hale a month back when they had both attended a radio program taping for their friend Avieranna Patton.
Hale stormed into her former elementary school on Monday, killing three nine-year-old students and three staff members.
"I don't think she was with anyone. She was just kind of by herself," Hardcastle said.
"I don't think that they were very close but I think Audrey looked up to [her] like she looked up to Sydney. But I don't know that it was ever, like, a two-way thing."
Twin Sister Lashes Out
Hale, according to Hardcastle, was a "tomboy" in elementary school but didn't seem to change until she was an adult. She added that she was unaware of any romantic relationship Hale may have had with Sims.
Hale who was taught by Maria Colomy at the Nossi College of Art & Design in Nashville when she was an adult, said that her transition started about the same time that she was going through a breakup, the New York Times reported.
The teacher said that Hale routinely posted photos of the couple playing basketball and had written about how much she missed them.
"The only thing I would see [Hale] post would be about this girl," she told CNN.
"She had been openly grieving about that on social media, and during the grieving is when she announced that she wanted to be addressed as a male," Colomy told the outlet.
However, the grieving twin of Sydney has reacted angrily to "disgusting" claims that the Covenant School shooting was somehow connected to her sibling's tragic car crash death.
Taylor Sims, Sims' 28-year-old twin sister, trashed the narrative in a private Instagram message that DailyMail.com was able to obtain.
"Please don't attach such a nasty, disgusting tragedy to my sister's name," she wrote. "This is very sick and just goes to show people talk. Please leave my sister out of it."
On Monday, 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 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.
Sims, a behavioral therapist and medical assistant who attended Tuskegee University on a basketball scholarship, was driving a Nissan Duke when it was hit head-on by a Hyundai Elantra in North Nashville.
The 27-year-old was taken to the hospital right away but died from her injuries, along with a Hyundai passenger who was 20 years old.
Hale, who played basketball with Sims around 15 years ago, sent flowers to Sims' family and attended her funeral.
Police have not yet released the manifesto that the deranged Hale, who recently changed his name to Aiden and began using he/him pronouns, left behind before carrying out the attack at her former elementary school.