‘I’m afraid I’m going to die’: Covenant School shooting 911 calls released

In one 911 call, a child can be heard begging to leave the school.
Newly released 911 calls show horrifying moments as the Nashville school shooting unfolded.
Published: Mar. 30, 2023 at 1:41 PM CDT|Updated: Mar. 31, 2023 at 11:29 AM CDT
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NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WSMV) – Emergency officials have released 911 calls related to the mass school shooting in Nashville on Monday.

Six victims were shot and killed after 28-year-old Audrey Hale entered The Covenant School and opened fire. Hale was later killed by Metro police officers on the second floor of the building at 10:24 a.m.

One of the first 911 calls was placed by Averianna Patton, who told a dispatcher Hale had sent her disturbing messages on Instagram.

“I received a very, very weird message from a friend on Instagram. I think it’s like a suicidal thing. I called the suicide hotline, and they told me to call the sheriff’s department,” Patton said. “The sheriff’s department told me to call you guys. So, I’m just trying to see, can anybody – I just don’t want it on my conscience if somebody can go check on her. Only thing I have is her Instagram. I went to school with her in middle school. But I don’t, I don’t know no friends, no numbers or anything like that.”

“You don’t know her address,” the 911 dispatcher asked.

“Uh, uh I don’t, I don’t have her address.”

“Ok. Unfortunately, we can’t send anything up without an address.”

A second caller reported hearing gunshots as she and her students hid in the school’s art room closet, according to 911 calls obtained by WSMV4. At least one child can be heard begging to leave the school.

“We think we hear gunshots,” the caller said.

“Have you counted the gunshots? Do you know how many it was?” the dispatcher asked.

“It sounds like somebody’s shooting guns,” the caller said.

As the dispatcher asked the woman if she would like to talk to the police, a child can be heard saying, “I want to go home.”

Later in the call, shots can be heard echoing through the phone. The woman can be heard telling her students to be quiet.

Another emergency call was made by a group of adults who fled the building after shots were heard. They called 911 as they fled down Burton Hills Drive. A man can be heard pleading with 911 dispatchers to send teams to the Covenant Presbyterian Church.

“Active shooter. Covenant Presbyterian Church off Hillsboro Road.”

A dispatcher responded with, “where inside the church or the school is the emergency?”

“It’s in the school,” the man said.

Dispatch then probed the man for what transpired at the school, and another man entered the conversation on speaker phone and described what he saw.

“He (sic) entered in between where the sanctuary is and the overhead entry. There’s a side door on the end, you’ll see where he shot the windows out to enter the school. You’ll see broken glass all through the church … on the east side.”

“Did you have a look at him, or any description of him?” the dispatcher asked.

“All I saw was a man holding an assault rifle, shooting through the doors,” the man said. “He’s currently in the second-grade hallway. White man, camouflage vest on and an assault rifle.”

A dispatcher then asked, “Ok, now approximately how many shots have you heard?”

A woman answered, “A lot. A lot of shots.”