Covenant School files motions to intervene in the release of shooter’s writings

The church’s attorneys filed the motions on Friday, May 12.
WSMV4's Michael Warrick reports.
Published: May. 16, 2023 at 9:11 AM CDT|Updated: May. 16, 2023 at 5:45 PM CDT
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NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WSMV) - The Covenant Presbyterian Church of Nashville is looking to prevent certain parts of The Covenant School shooter’s writings from being released to the public, according to a recent motion filing.

According to court records, Covenant attorneys filed two motions to intervene, one against The Tennessee Firearms Association (TFA) and another with the Nashville Police Association (NPA), requesting the court permit them to “protect its interests relating to the release of records sought” by the two organizations. Specifically, the groups are interested in the personal journals and other writings seized from Audrey Hale’s home on March 27.

While acknowledging the public need to know what motivated Hale to murder six people, including three children that day, the church is concerned parts of the documents may jeopardize the security of their facility and the personal safety of its members.

On Monday, more than 60 House Republicans signed a letter addressed to Metro Police Chief John Drake, urging him to release Hale’s writings.

“We need to be able to see what’s in that manifesto that could maybe provide some insight as we gather information, as we prepare for special session, as we work on legislation, we need all the facts and all the data available to us,” Rep. Jason Zachary (R-Knoxville) said.

Zachary told WSMV4 he and his Republican colleagues don’t mind if parts of Hale’s writings pertaining to Covenant employee information and building designs, are kept confidential.

“Nobody needs to see that, that’s not information we need to get out. And then two, we have to be very sensitive to the families. We just simply want to be able to get an insight into this person who committed this horrific act,” Zachary said.

Both the TFA and NPA have filed lawsuits against the City of Nashville demanding the release of the shooter’s writings. The Metro Nashville Police Department, which is in possession of all the materials seized from Hale’s home, were advised by Wally Dietz, Nashville’s Law Director, to not release the materials while the lawsuits are pending.

The motion hearing for the school’s requests for intervention is scheduled for Thursday, May 18.