The shooter who killed three children and three adult staff members at Covenant School in Nashville in March planned the attack with specific people in mind, according to the shooters’ writings, as Nashville’s Metropolitan Police Department confirmed. The confirmation came after the pages were leaked online.
“I am greatly disturbed by today’s unauthorized release of three pages of writings from the Covenant shooter,” Chief John Drake wrote in a statement, confirming that the writings came from shooter Audrey Hale.
In what appears to be a three-page handwritten note, Hale detailed what was labeled “Death Day,” along with a specific timeline for the shooting that concluded with the words Time2Die circled. (An investigation into “the dissemination of three photographs of writings” was ordered by the police department, adding that the photos that initially surfaced online were not formal “crime scene images.”)
Among the disturbing sentences Hale wrote is, “Can’t believe I’m doing this, but I’m ready…I hope my victims aren’t.” Hale also wrote about hopes for a “high death count” and cited the victim’s “white privilege.”
Chief Drake said the police department is investigating how the pages ended up online (conservative commentator Steven Crowder first shared them, though the original source is still unclear).
“This police department is extremely serious about the investigation to identify the person responsible. This action showed a total disregard for Covenant families, as well as the court system, which has control of the shooter’s journals at the present time due to litigation filed earlier this year,” he wrote. “It is now pending in Davidson County Chancery Court and the Tennessee Court of Appeals. We are not at liberty to release the journals until the courts rule. Our police department looks forward to the ultimate resolution of the litigation concerning the journals.”
On March 27, Hale fatally shot students Evelyn Dieckhaus, Hallie Scruggs, and William Kinney — one was age 8, the others age 9; the adult staff members were substitute teacher Cynthia Peak, age 61, the head of the school Katherine Koonce, 60, and school custodian Mike Hill, 61 at Covenant, a private Christian school at Covenant Presbyterian Church.
The writings were discovered shortly after the shooting by officials during a search of the home where Hale lived with their parents. Officials also found 20 notebooks, five computers, a suicide note, and other notes written by Hale, according to a search warrant via WSAU. Two memoirs, five Covenant School yearbooks, and seven cell phones were also discovered.
The 28-year-old was killed during an exchange of gunfire with police, per a statement by Metro Nashville Police (MNPD) while officers were responding to the active shooter scene. According to authorities, Hale identified as transgender and also went by the name “Aiden Hale.” It’s unclear what pronouns Hale was using at the time of death.