Suspect in Christian School Shooting Confirmed to Be Transgender

AP Photo/John Amis

On Monday, a tragic shooting occurred at The Covenant School, a private Christian grade school in Tennessee, resulting in the deaths of three students and three adults. The shooter has been identified as 28-year-old Audrey Elizabeth Hale, a Nashville resident. Hale was reportedly carrying two “assault-type rifles” and a handgun and was killed by police during the attack. Authorities reported that Hale may have prepared for the shooting.


Rumors that the shooter identified as transgender quickly spread on social media within hours of the shooting but weren’t confirmed at the time.

However, Nashville Chief of Police John Drake has since confirmed at a press conference that Hale identified as transgender. She was a biological female who identified as a man. Police also confirmed that Hale was a former student at the school and that she had a manifesto.

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“We have a manifesto,” Chief Drake said. “We have a map of how all of this was going to play out.”

A reporter also asked whether the way Hale identified played a role in her targeting the school. Drake would not confirm this but indicated that it was a working theory and said it would be discussed at a later date.

At a news conference, Metro Nashville Police spokesperson Don Aaron reported that responding officers promptly confronted the shooter on the building’s second floor. “The police department response was swift,” Aaron explained. “They heard shots coming from the second level. They immediately went to the gunfire. When the officers got to the second level, they saw a shooter, a female, who was firing. The officers engaged her. She was fatally shot by responding police officers.”


The White House wasted no time in exploiting the shooting to push for stricter gun control laws aimed at law-abiding gun owners, while also placing the blame on Republicans. However, with the recent revelation that the shooter was a female identifying as a man, and may have targeted the school due to gender identity issues, it remains to be seen how the narrative surrounding the shooting will evolve in the coming days.

The victims have been identified as Evelyn Dieckhaus, Hallie Scruggs, and William Kinney, all 9 years old; Cynthia Peak, age 61; Katherine Koonce, age 60; and; Mike Hill, age 61. Katherine Koonce was the head of The Covenant School.

This story is developing.


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