Nashville school shooting: Family "couldn't accept" Audrey Hale's trans identity

In this screen grab from surveillance video tweeted by the Metropolitan Nashville Police Department, Audrey Elizabeth Hale points an assault-style weapon inside The Covenant School in Nashville, Tenn., Monday, March 27, 2023. (Photo: AP)

Before murdering six innocent people in a vicious spree, school shooter Audrey Hale was supposedly shunned by family members due to their trans identity.

Hale shot and killed three children and three adults at Covenant School in Nashville, Tennessee, at 10:13 a.m. on Monday, sending the United States reeling from another mass shooting.

According to a source, the 28-year-old, fatally shot by police, had a poor relationship with his devout parents Norma, 61, and Ronald, 64, after coming out as gay and transgender.

The source informed the Daily Mail that the parents "could not accept" their child's new identity, which included using the name Aiden and the pronouns he/him.

Additionally, the source claimed that Hale's parents would not permit him to dress as a man in their home.

"You only see what you want to see. Their religion does not allow them to accept homosexuality,"  the source explained.

"She was Audrey at home but when she left the house she changed clothes. They did know about it, they just didn’t accept it.”

Police have established that the graphic designer wanted to carry out other attacks, including against her relatives and innocent persons in a nearby shopping mall.

“We’ve talked to the father and the mother. We searched the home and found two more weapons and more maps, pertaining to thinking about some other incidents,” police chief John Drake told CBS.

“We strongly believe there were going to be some other targets, including family members, and one of the malls here in Nashville and it just did not happen.”

Drake informed NBC News that Hale might have been motivated by "resentment" after the shooting, and these allegations corroborate his claims.

Authorities are examining if Hale's gender identity may have played a role in the incident. “There’s some belief that there was some resentment for having to go to that school,” he told the network.

About the theory, Drake stated, “We’re investigating all the leads.”

Evelyn Dieckhaus, Hallie Scruggs, and Williams Kinney were identified as the 9-year-old victims of Hale.

The attack also claimed the lives of custodian Michael Hill, 61, substitute teacher Cynthia Peak, 61, and headmaster Katherine Koonce, 60.

‘I don’t want to be an only child’

As her loss hit, the older sister of one of the young victims reportedly cried and proclaimed, "I don't want to be an only child."

Clay Stauffer, senior minister of the Woodmont Christian Church, revealed the news during a vigil on Monday evening, stating that the loss of young Evelyn crushed Eleanor Dieckhaus and her family.

With Evelyn's death, the Dieckhaus family has stated that their hearts are "completely broken."

The Tennessean quoted the family as saying, "We cannot believe this has happened."

"Evelyn was a shining light in this world. We appreciate all the love and support but ask for space as we grieve. "

Hale treated for ‘emotional distress'

Tuesday at a press conference, Nashville police stated that Hale had legally purchased seven firearms and received treatment for "emotional distress."

"Her parents felt she should not own weapons," said John Drake, chief of police in Nashville.

“She had been hiding several weapons within the house.”

He said that it was unlikely they would have been allowed to take Hale's firearms before the attack, even if there had been causing for fear, because "not a law for that,” but emphasized that police "had absolutely no idea" Hale represented a threat.

‘Planning to die today’

Also, it has come to light that Hale sent former teammate Averianna Patton an Instagram message the morning of the slaughter.

The interaction occurred around 9:57 a.m., 16 minutes prior to the incident, as reported by local television station News Channel 5.

Hale wrote to Patton, “I’m planning to die today.” 


“You’ll probably hear about me on the news after I die.

“This is my last goodbye. I love you … See you again in another life.”

Hale signed off the message as “Audrey (Aiden).”

Patton replied that Audrey had “so much more life to live”.

Hale replied: “I know but I don’t want to live. I’m so sorry. I’m not trying to upset you or get attention. I just need to die. I wanted to tell you first because you are the most beautiful person I’ve ever seen and known all my life.

“My family doesn’t know what I’m about to do. One day this will make more sense. I’ve left more than enough evidence behind. But something bad is about to happen.”

Also, police have confirmed that Hale abandoned intentions to attack a second school in the same region because it had too much security.

The police have provided ambiguous information regarding Hale's gender. Monday, police recognized the shooter as a female for hours. At a news conference held in the late afternoon, the police chief revealed that Hale is transgender. Following the press briefing, police spokesman Don Aaron declined to elaborate on Hale's identification.

Publish : 2023-03-29 10:17:00

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