The Audrey Hale Incident: A Comprehensive of the Nashville Tragedy

Who Is Audrey Hale?

Audrey Hale, born Audrey Elizabeth Hale on March 24, 1995, in Nashville, Tennessee, was a 28-year-old individual involved in a tragic event. Hale was a commercial illustrator and graphic designer, a graduate from Nossi College of Art & Design in Nashville in 2022. Described as a “talented artist and good student” by the school, Hale’s work ranged from freelance graphic design to part-time grocery shopping. She showcased her creations online, including working on a children’s book about a support dog​​​​​​.

Hale had attended The Covenant School around the age of 10, which was later the site of the unfortunate incident. Interestingly, Hale had no previous criminal record or history of dubious behavior before this event​​​​​​.

Identified as a transgender individual, Hale used he/him pronouns and was known on social media platforms like Instagram and LinkedIn as Aiden. According to a source close to the family, Hale was autistic but high-functioning and had only recently announced the transition to identifying as transgender.

Who They Were Before The Shooting

In personal life, Hale was known to be a Nashville-based freelance graphic designer and illustrator. The personal website described an aim to bring a “whimsical and light-hearted feel” to the branding and logos created. Hale’s hobbies and interests included playing video games, watching movies, engaging in sports, and spending time with two cats. The website also exhibited various artwork pieces, including landscapes, pattern art, logos, packaging samples, pamphlets, book covers, posters, and personal work, reflecting a mission “to change the world”​​​​​​.

Neighbors described Hale as a “very sweet,” “normal, nice person, maybe a little quiet,” with one expressing disbelief that Hale could be capable of the later actions, noting the family’s apparent distance from firearms​​.

The tragic event that Hale was involved in left a deep impact. It was reported that Hale had left behind a manifesto with detailed plans, including maps of the school and CCTV camera locations. This indicated a calculated approach to the unfortunate incident​​. Armed with at least two assault rifles and a handgun, Hale entered the school and perpetrated the shooting, documented through CCTV footage​​. The vehicle used in the incident, a Honda Fit, was also noted in the reports.

In the aftermath, Hale’s mother, Norma Hale, expressed her profound grief and difficulty in coping with the situation, highlighting the family’s distress​​. This incident marked Hale as the seventh female mass shooter in U.S. history​​.

Emotional Disorder And A Gun Purchase

Audrey Hale, the suspect in the Nashville school shooting, legally purchased the firearms used in the attack. According to MNPD Chief John Drake, Hale bought a total of seven firearms from five different local gun stores. These purchases were made legally, despite Hale receiving care for an emotional disorder. Of the seven firearms, three were used during the attack on Covenant School: two AR-style firearms, including a rifle and a pistol, as well as a handgun. Notably, Hale had hidden these firearms at home without the knowledge of her parents.

Metropolitan Nashville Police Chief John Drake confirmed that Audrey Hale was receiving treatment from a doctor for an “emotional disorder.” However, the specific nature or diagnosis of this emotional disorder was not detailed in the available information. Additionally, it was noted that Hale’s parents were unaware of the extent of her firearm possession. They knew of only one weapon, which they believed Hale had sold. This lack of awareness extended to law enforcement, who were also unaware of the treatment Hale was receiving for her emotional disorder​​​​​​​.

This situation highlights the complexities surrounding legal firearm purchases and mental health considerations in the United States. The fact that Hale was able to legally acquire multiple firearms while under care for an emotional disorder raises questions about the effectiveness of existing gun control measures and mental health assessments in the process of purchasing firearms.

The Day Of The Shooting

On March 27, 2023, a tragic and devastating mass shooting occurred at The Covenant School, a Presbyterian Church in America parochial elementary school in the Green Hills neighborhood of Nashville, Tennessee. The perpetrator was identified as 28-year-old Aiden Hale, born Audrey Elizabeth Hale, who was a transgender man and a former student of the school. The shocking event led to the loss of six lives, including three nine-year-old children and three adults, before Hale was shot and killed by Metropolitan Nashville Police Department (MNPD) officers​​.

The Timeline Of the Attack

Before the attack, Hale drove to the school, arriving at around 9:54 a.m. Just minutes before the shooting, at 9:57 a.m., Hale sent a message to an old friend via Instagram, which was described as “basically a suicide note.” This message anticipated dying that day. The friend who received this message promptly contacted a crisis hotline and then the Davidson County Sheriff’s Office at 10:13 a.m.

The shooting began at approximately 10:11 a.m., when Hale, armed with two rifles and a pistol, shot through a set of glass side doors to enter the building. Police received a call about an active shooter at 10:13 a.m. and arrived at the scene shortly after. The officers entered the building around 10:23 a.m. and encountered gunshots coming from the second floor. By 10:27 a.m., 14 minutes after the initial 911 call, Hale was deceased. In total, more than 150 rounds were fired during this tragic event​​.

The victims of this senseless violence included three young students—Evelyn Dieckhaus, William Kinney, and Hallie Scruggs, all aged 9—and three staff members—substitute teacher Cynthia Peak, 61; custodian Mike Hill, 61; and head of school Katherine Koonce, 60. Five of the victims were pronounced dead at a hospital, and one was pronounced dead at the scene​​. Additionally, a police officer was wounded after cutting his hand on shattered glass during the response to the shooting​​.

Hale, a Nashville resident with no prior criminal record, had attended The Covenant School around the age of 10. MNPD Police Chief John Drake noted that Hale was under care for an emotional disorder and had legally purchased seven firearms, including three recovered from the shooting scene, between October 2020 and June 2022​​.

This incident is a stark reminder of the complexities surrounding such tragic events and the profound impact they have on communities, families, and individuals.

The Manifesto That Police Refuse To Release

The reluctance of the police to release Audrey Hale’s manifesto to the public stems from multiple concerns. Firstly, there is a fear that its contents could inspire copycat attacks. Such manifestos, especially when linked to high-profile incidents, can sometimes become a source of inspiration for others with similar intentions. Secondly, releasing the manifesto could potentially retraumatize the community and the victims’ families, who are still recovering from the devastating effects of the attack. Lastly, there is often a concern about giving undue attention or a platform to the perpetrator’s thoughts and motivations, which could overshadow the victims’ memories and the community’s healing process​​.

The manifesto of Audrey Hale, involved in the Nashville school shooting, has been a subject of intense scrutiny. Leaked pages of the manifesto, revealed by Steven Crowder, showcased Hale’s intentions to target individuals perceived as having “white privileges.” The manifesto contained disturbing content, with expressions of a desire for a high death count and violence against children at The Covenant School. It also reflected Hale’s state of mind, indicating a blend of nervousness and excitement about the planned attack.

Hale left behind at least 20 journals, a suicide note, and a memoir, all recovered at the crime scene and at Hale’s parents’ home. These writings have sparked debate and legal challenges, with various groups, including a state senator and The Tennessean newspaper, seeking access to them. Conversely, The Covenant School, its associated church, and many parents have opposed releasing the manifesto, fearing it could inspire copycat attacks and further traumatize the community​​.

A Remembrance of The Lives Lost

Evelyn Dieckhaus, William Kinney, and Hallie Scruggs were all nine years old, their lives filled with the innocence and joy characteristic of childhood. At such a tender age, they represented the future, filled with potential and dreams. Their untimely passing is a heartbreaking loss, not only to their families but to the community and the world that will now miss out on all they could have contributed.

Cynthia Peak, 61, a substitute teacher, devoted her life to the noble cause of education, influencing and shaping the minds of young learners. Her role went beyond just teaching; she was a mentor, a guide, and a source of inspiration for countless students over her career.

Mike Hill, 61, served as a custodian. His work, often behind the scenes, was integral to the smooth operation and upkeep of the school. The care he put into his job ensured a safe and clean environment for students and staff alike, a testament to his dedication and commitment to the well-being of others.

Katherine Koonce, 60, the head of school, was a leader and a visionary in education. Her leadership not only steered the school but also touched the lives of many students, teachers, and families. Her passion for education and the nurturing of young minds helped create a positive and encouraging learning atmosphere.

These individuals were more than just their roles at the Covenant School; they were cherished family members, friends, and valued members of their community. Each of them left an indelible mark on the lives they touched, and their absence creates a void that cannot be filled.

In remembering them, we acknowledge the profound impact they had and the deep loss felt by their loved ones and those who knew them. Their memories remind us of the importance of community, compassion, and the enduring spirit of those dedicated to nurturing and guiding the younger generation. As we reflect on their lives, let us honor their contributions and hold their spirits in our hearts, ensuring that their legacies continue to inspire and influence us.

Need Help? Call Us Now!

Do not forget that when you or anyone you know is facing a criminal charge, you have us, the Law Office of Bryan Fagan, by your side to help you build the best defense case for you. We will work and be in your best interest for you and we will obtain the best possible outcome that can benefit you. We can explain everything you need to know about your trial and how to defend your case best. Also, We can help you step by step through the criminal process. 

Therefore, do not hesitate to call us if you find yourself or someone you know that is facing criminal charges unsure about the court system. We will work with you to give you the best type of defense that can help you solve your case. It is vital to have someone explain the result of the charge to you and guide you in the best possible way.

Here at the Law Office of Bryan Fagan, we have professional and knowledgeable criminal law attorneys who are experienced in building a defense case for you that suits your needs for the best possible outcome that can benefit you.  

Also, here at the Law Office of Bryan Fagan, you are given a free consultation at your convenience. You may choose to have your appointment via Zoom, google meet, email, or an in-person appointment; and we will provide you with as much advice and information as possible so you can have the best possible result in your case. 

Call us now at (281) 810-9760.

Book an appointment with Law Office of Bryan Fagan using SetMore

A Chilling Tale of Unsolved Murders

The Highland Park Shooting and the Prosecution of Robert Crimo Jr.

Unraveling the Mystery: The Lewiston Mass Shooting

Harris County, Texas Family Law Court – 308TH Judicial District Local Rules

Unpacking the Texas State Fair Shooting Case

The Synagogue Shooter: Exploring the Tragedy

Audrey Hale Case FAQs

Select a question from the dropdown below to reveal the answer:

Categories: Uncategorized

Share this article



Contact Law Office of Bryan Fagan, PLLC Today!

At the Law Office of Bryan Fagan, PLLC, the firm wants to get to know your case before they commit to work with you. They offer all potential clients a no-obligation, free consultation where you can discuss your case under the client-attorney privilege. This means that everything you say will be kept private and the firm will respectfully advise you at no charge. You can learn more about Texas divorce law and get a good idea of how you want to proceed with your case.

Plan Your Visit

Office Hours

Mon-Fri: 8 AM – 6 PM Saturday: By Appointment Only

"(Required)" indicates required fields