Police Release Security Footage of School Shooter

March 28, 2023

Metropolitan Nashville Police have released surveillance footage of the shooter who killed three children and three adults at The Covenant School on Monday.

On Twitter, the police described the video: “Active shooter Audrey Elizabeth Hale drove to Covenant Church/School in her Honda Fit this morning, parked, and shot her way into the building. She was armed with 2 assault-type guns and a 9 millimeter pistol.”

In the video, a rifle can be seen slung over the shooter’s shoulder. She can then be seen entering different rooms and walking past a children’s ministry with a second rifle raised. 

Police Chief John Drake said that in addition to the surveillance video, the department would release police body cam of the officers who encountered Hale. 

Metropolitan Nashville Police got the first call about the shooting at 10:13am Central Time Monday and “By 10:27, the shooter was deceased” after engaging police, the police department’s Don Aaron said at a Monday afternoon news conference.

Later in the day, Police identified the victims as children Evelyn Dieckhaus, Hallie Scruggs and William Kinney. According to police, two of them were 9-year-olds and one “was 8, about to be 9.” The three adults killed in the massacre were Cynthia Peak, 61, Katherine Koonce, 60, and Mike Hill, 61, all of whom were identified as school staff members.

Police also identified Hale as a transgender woman. When asked whether her gender identity entered into her motive, Drake replied that there might be “some theory to that,” but that they were “investigating all the leads.” 

They also noted that Hale was a former student of the Covenant School, which is a private Christian school for kids pre-K through 6th grade. 

During remarks at a White House event, President Biden noted that police had stated that the shooter was armed with two assault weapons, further saying, “I called on Congress again to pass my assault weapons ban. It’s about time that we began to make some more progress.”

Biden has focused on reinstating the assault weapons ban that he helped pass in 1994 as a U.S. Senator, but which lapsed in 2004. However, the last time the Democrats attempted to push through the legislation, there were not enough votes to pass it in Congress. That was July 2022 when Democrats had majorities in both the House and Senate. Now, Republicans control the House.

The FBI and ATF arrived on the scene in Nashville Monday to assist local law enforcement in the Covenant School investigation. 

An FBI investigation found that men were behind 98% of all active shooter incidents in 2021 and that out of 250 active shooter incidents between 2000 and 2018, only nine involved women.

This was the 128th mass shooting in the U.S. so far this year and the third mass shooting to take the lives of elementary school children. On May 24 a mass shooter at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas killed 19 fourth graders and two teachers. That was the second deadliest elementary school shooting in U.S. history, after the 2012 massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary in Newtown, Connecticut, when a gunman slaughtered 20 first graders and six adults.

PHOTO:  @MNPDNashville

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