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Police say Nashville school shooter identified as transgender, left behind manifesto

Nashville Metropolitan Police Chief John Drake confirmed transgender shooter left manifesto, other documentation such as maps.

Published: March 27, 2023 12:20pm

Updated: March 28, 2023 11:23am

Authorities have identified the armed assailant who killed six during a Monday rampage through a Nashville Christian school as 28-year-old Audrey Hale, a female identifying as male who authorities say once attended the school.

Nashville Metropolitan Police Chief John Drake addressed reporters Monday evening, saying "we've identified the shooter as Audrey Hale, a 28-year-old female that lived in the Nashville area."

Drake referred to Hale as "female," but told reporters that "she does identify as transgender."

"We have investigations ongoing now ... we have made contact with the father," he said. "We have also determined there were maps drawn of the school in detail, surveillance, entry points, etc."

The chief further confirmed the existence of a manifesto and other documentation and said police are also investigating whether Hale's transgender identity played into the shooting plot.

"There is some theory to that, we're investigating all the leads," he said.

Hale inflicted six fatalities, three of whom were children and three of whom were faculty members. Drake confirmed that Hale attended the Covenant School "at one point," but was unaware of the exact dates of her attendance.

Covenant School, which teaches students from preschool through sixth grade, has an enrollment of about 200 students, according to the school's website. The school was founded as a ministry of Covenant Presbyterian Church.

The Metropolitan Nashville Police Department said that one of its officers "engaged" the shooter, whom officers fatally shot. Officials initially said at a press conference Monday that the shooter "appears to be in her teens," but the police department later clarified that Hale was the assailant.

She was armed with two AR-style rifles and one pistol, Drake said. Authorities believe she obtained them legally.

All three children were pronounced dead after arriving at Vanderbilt Medical Center, the spokesperson told ABC News.

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