Suicide note and weapons found in Nashville shooter’s home, warrant shows
Apr 4, 2023, 12:51 PM | Updated: 12:59 pm
(Andrew Nelles/The Tennessean via AP)
(CNN) — Investigators found a suicide note when they executed a search warrant at the home of the shooter who killed six people at a Nashville school last week, along with more weapons and ammunition, according to an inventory of items seized.
The search warrant and the list of items found were released Tuesday, just over a week after the shooter, former student Audrey Hale, opened fire at The Covenant School, killing three 9-year-olds and three adults.
The warrant, executed the same day as the shooting, shows authorities also found several Covenant School yearbooks and a school photo, in addition to the shooter’s journals. Some of the journals are described as being related to “school shootings; firearm courses,” the list indicates.
The investigation so far shows Hale, 28, fired 152 rounds in the attack, which was planned “over a period of months,” police said in a news release Monday. Hale “considered the actions of other mass murderers,” that release said, and “acted totally alone.”
Hale, who police said was under care for an emotional disorder, had legally purchased seven firearms and hidden them at home, Metropolitan Nashville Police Chief John Drake previously said.
Hale was armed with three firearms during the attack, which ended after Nashville officers arrived on the scene and confronted the shooter.
Two officers opened fire — a moment captured in bodycam footage later released by police — and killed Hale at 10:27 a.m., 14 minutes after the shooter entered the private Christian school, according to Nashville police spokesperson Don Aaron.
Police continue to work to determine a motive for the attack, but they said previously that writings left behind by Hale — which continue to be reviewed by police and the FBI — made clear it was “calculated and planned.”
Hale targeted the school and Covenant Presbyterian Church, to which the school is attached, police said, but it’s believed the victims were fired upon at random.
Those victims were Evelyn Dieckhaus, William Kinney and Hallie Scruggs, all 9 years old, as well as school custodian Mike Hill, 61, substitute teacher Cynthia Peak, 61, and Katherine Koonce, 60, who was head of the school.
The school shooting — the deadliest since 21 people, including 19 children, were killed at a school in Uvalde, Texas, last May — renewed debate over the scourge of American gun violence, access to firearms and school safety, a fight that spilled over into the state legislature this week.
Tennessee House Republicans on Monday took steps toward expelling three Democratic state representatives who participated in protests at the state Capitol last Thursday calling for more gun control in the wake of the deadly mass shooting.
A vote on whether to expel the three members — Reps. Gloria Johnson of Knoxville, Justin Jones of Nashville and Justin Pearson of Memphis — is slated for Thursday, according to The Tennessean.
Separately, officials plan to recognize Nashville police for their quick reaction to the shooting during a regularly scheduled meeting of the Nashville Metropolitan Council on Tuesday evening, Jim Shulman, the council’s vice mayor, told CNN.
The meeting will begin with a powerful song to honor the victims of the school shooting, per Shulman, and the city plans to express gratitude to officers for their response.
Editor’s note: If you or someone you know is struggling with mental health, please call the Suicide & Crisis Lifeline at 988 to connect with a trained counselor or visit 988lifeline.org.
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