- Date: March 27, 2023
- Location: The Covenant School, Green Hills neighborhood, Nashville, Tennessee
- Fatalities: 6, including three children and three adult staff
- Injured: 1 (Officer injured by broken glass)
- Suspect: Audrey “Aiden” Hale, 28
- Suspect Status: Deceased
- Motive: Unconfirmed at this time
At approximately 10:13 am local time, Hale arrived at the Covenant School, a private Presbyterian school in Nashville’s Green Hills, after driving themself to the location armed with an AR-15 platform rifle, Kel-Tec Sub2000, and Smith & Wesson M&P Shield handgun. About 15 minutes before arriving at the school, Hale texted a friend that they planned on committing suicide that day, but did not say anything about the shooting that was about to occur.
Security camera footage shows Hale walking up to one of the school’s doors before shooting it out and making entry. Over the next 10 minutes, Hale makes their way through the halls of the school, fatally shooting three 9 year old students and three adult staff across two floors.
— Breaking911 (@Breaking911) March 28, 2023
It remains unclear when emergency calls were made about the active shooter, but responding police units began to arrive on scene at about 10:20 am and started to assemble a party to locate and eliminate Hale. At some point, Hale reaches the second floor of the school and begins to open fire on responding units out a window, however, nobody was struck.
?BREAKING: Nashville Police release bodycam footage showing officers neutralizing trans shooter of Christian school pic.twitter.com/XUIhSceGiq
— Benny Johnson (@bennyjohnson) March 28, 2023
Body camera footage released by the Nashville Police show officers quickly enter the building and begin clearing operations to look for Hale. Officers soon found out that Hale was possibly on the second floor and started to make their way to the location. Upon entering the second floor from a staircase, officers are met with a long narrow hallway that lead to an open area. Pushing down the hallway, officers pass one of the deceased victims and confronted Hale. Hale was fatally shot by officers Michael Collazoi and Rex Engelbert, who were armed with a rifle and handgun, at approximately 10:27 am.
The shooting lasted approximately 14 minutes.
- Evelyn Dieckhaus, 9; student
- William Kinney, 9; student
- Hallie Scruggs, 9; student
- Cynthia Peak, 61; teacher
- Mike Hill, 61; custodian
- Katherine Koonce, 60; school head
SUSPECT AND MOTIVE
Nashville Police Chief John Drake identified the gunman as 28 year old Audrey Hale, a former student of the school and local resident of the area. Drake clarified that Hale identified as a transgender male and social media profiles confirm that Hale went by the name “Aiden” and used male pronouns. Hale was identified through their personal car that was driven to the scene. Authorities initially described Hale as appearing to be a “teenage female,” but later corrected their assessment.
While authorities have not confirmed an exact motive, a manifesto and detailed drawings of the school and its entry points were recovered from Hale’s residence, leading investigators to believe this was a premeditated and targeted attack against the school, although the victims appear to have been killed at random. Drake said that investigators believe Hale harbored “resentment” for having gone to the school, but did not elaborate.
The manifesto has not been released publicly and authorities have yet to speak on any of its contents.