Nashville school shooter purchased 7 guns, planned attack on multiple locations, police say

Writings were found at the shooter’s home that indicated a desire to attack other locations.
Metro Police Chief John Drake provides update on Covenant School shooting.
Published: Mar. 27, 2023 at 11:13 PM CDT|Updated: Mar. 28, 2023 at 1:10 PM CDT
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NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WSMV) - The shooter at the Covenant School planned to attack multiple locations, the Metro Nashville Police chief said in a press conference on Monday.

Police Chief John Drake said police found a manifesto from the shooter, 28-year-old Audrey Hale. Hale is a former student of the Covenant School, a private Christian school for students aged preschool through 6th grade.

“It was the only school that was targeted. There was another location that was mentioned, but because of a threat assessment by the suspect of too much security, they decided not to,” Drake said. “That area was here in Nashville, so we’re continuing with that investigation as well.”

Police shared photos of the three guns Hale was armed with during the shooting. Two of them were A-R-style weapons -- one, a rifle, another, a pistol, and a handgun.

Detectives interviewed Hale’s parents and learned that seven weapons were bought at five different stores. Police believe those guns were purchased legally and locally, according to Drake. He said the suspect also had significant ammunition with them, firing a number of rounds.

The parents told police they saw Hale leave the house that day with a red bag, but did not think to ask about it, according to chief Drake.

“In any case, there was going to be shootings at multiple locations. The school was one of them,” Drake said. “There was actually a detailed map of the school and surveillance entry points and how this was going to be carried out on this day.”

Police said all the doors were locked, so Hale shot their way into the building.

As police arrived on campus, Hale fired at them through an upstairs window. It struck the windshield of the police cruiser.

Five police officers responded inside.

“I want to say thank you to our first responders who got there and immediately went in and addressed the threat of someone that had multiple rounds of ammunition, prepared for a confrontation with law enforcement, prepared to do more harm than was actually done,” Drake said.