Nashville police have released footage showing the moment a transgender 28-year-old shot down the door of a Christian school she attended as a child and began stalking the corridors, assault rifle in hand.
Audrey Hale arrived at the Covenant School in her Honda Fit just before 10am and killed six people before she was shot dead.
Hale opened fire on arriving police from the second floor of the school before she was confronted by Officer Rex Englebert, a four-year MNPD veteran, and Officer Michael Collazo, a nine-year MNPD veteran. The pair returned fire and shot her dead.
Nashville police on Monday released photos of the two semi-automatic rifles and handgun she had on her. A shotgun and a sawn-off shotgun were also found at her home, they confirmed.
Hale can be seen arriving at the school and then shooting through the locked glass door, which shatters.
Wearing a red baseball cap worn backwards, a white t-shirt covered in a tactical vest, and combat trousers, Hale is caught on camera stalking the corridors. Her victims were killed at random, police said.
Audrey Hale is seen arriving at the school in her gray Honda Fit at 9:53am on Monday, driving calmly without giving any indication of what was to come
At 10:10am, Hale is seen shooting through the locked glass door
Hale goes from room to room inside the church, adjacent to the school, searching for victims
She can be seen looking for someone to shoot within the church before opening the door and heading to the first floor
Hale can be seen stalking the corridors in footage released by Nashville police. She walks the length of the corridor before disappearing in the distance to go up to the second floor. She fired at arriving officers from a second floor window, and was shot dead on the second floor
Audrey Hale, 28, opened fire at a Nashville school on Monday, killing six
John Drake, the Nashville chief of police, said Hale left a manifesto which suggested ‘resentment’ at being forced to attend the Christian school
Officer Michael Collazo (left) and Officer Rex Englebert (right) were the two officers who shot and killed Hale, Nashville police said
How the Nashville school shooting unfolded
09:53am – Hale’s gray Honda Fit is seen arriving at The Covenant School in Nashville.
09:54am – Hale is seen driving through the parking lot, seemingly calm. Nothing suggests anything is out of the ordinary as she finds a spot to park.
10:10am – The glass front door, which was locked, is shattered as Hale opens fire. She then steps through the debris into the empty reception of the church, which is adjacent to the school.
10:13am – Brandishing her assault rifle, Hale is seen entering a carpeted room, inside the church looking for any victims. The room is empty. The first call to 911 about shots being fired in the building came in at this time.
10:18am – Hale is seen on the same camera inside the church still looking for victims. She opens a door into the next room.
10:19am – The 28-year-old returns through the door, and aims her gun, although there is no one there. She tries another door, then returns 30 seconds later.
10:20am – Hale is now walking through a wooden-floored building labelled ‘first’ in the footage, past an empty reception. She stalks the corridor, then disappears from view.
10:27am – Hale is shot dead on the second floor of the school, having engaged officers who fired back, killing her.
Police said Hale was transgender, although they haven’t specified further details. She was born female, but a LinkedIn profile believed to be hers uses he/him pronouns, suggesting Hale was living as a man.
Police released this image of Hale on Monday
On Monday night they continued to refer to Hale as ‘she’.
John Drake, the chief of Nashville police, said Hale left a manifesto which suggested simmering anger at being sent to a Christian school.
Hale’s mother, Norma Hale, worked as a coordinator at a local church and posted about religion frequently on Facebook.
‘The person we know as Audrey Hale, she’s a 28-year-old Nashvillan. We have belief that she went to school in the area – at that actual school.
‘There’s some belief that there was some resentment for having to go to that school,’ said Drake, speaking to NBC News.
‘Don’t have all the details to that just yet and that’s why this incident occurred.’
The six victims were three nine-year-old children and three staff members.
Hale’s LinkedIn profile suggested they were now living as a man
Hale was identified from her car, parked at the school
The 28-year-old shot through a locked door (pictured) to enter the school
Debris from Hale’s forced entrance of the school is pictured. The 28-year-old shot through the locked door of the school
Night falls on Brightwood Avenue in Nashville, where the Hale family lives
Drake told NBC Nightly News with Lester Holt that the victims were random.
‘She targeted random students and persons in the school – whoever she came into contact with,’ he said.
‘We feel that she identifies as trans but we are still in an initial investigation into that, and if it actually played a role in this incident.
‘Right now we are unsure if that played a role.’
He said her manifesto has been turned over to the FBI.
‘There was a map of the school with entry points and surveillance that was going to be on that day,’ he said.
She drove to school in a car, which Nashville police said helped identify her.
‘Active shooter Audrey Elizabeth Hale, 28, drove this Honda Fit to the Covenant Church/school campus this morning and parked,’ the police tweeted.
‘MNPD detectives searched it and found additional material written by Hale.’
At around 10.13am, she opened fire at The Covenant School, shooting and killing nine-year-old Evelyn Dieckhaus, William Kinney and Hallie Scruggs.
Hallie Scruggs was the daughter of Chad Scruggs, who since 2018 had served as the pastor at the affiliated presbyterian church.
Substitute teacher Cynthia Peak, 61, head of school Katherine Koonce, 60, and custodian Mike Hill, 61, were also killed.
She had detailed, drawn maps of the school and had been surveilling it, according to police.
‘We have a manifesto, we have some writings. We have a map drawn out of how this was all going to take place,’ said Drake.
Drake said that Hale mentioned another location in her manifesto, but decided that there was too much security to launch an attack.
The small school is run by a church and does not employ a school resource officer.
‘Our community is heartbroken,’ the school said in a statement issued on Monday night.
‘We are grieving tremendous loss and are in shock coming out of the terror that shattered our school and church.
‘We are focused on loving our students, our families, our faculty and staff and beginning the process of healing.’
President Joe Biden on Monday ordered flags to be flown at half staff until Friday at sunset. He also reiterated his call for an assault weapons ban.
Hallie Scruggs is seen with her father Chad Scruggs, the pastor at the presbyterian church affiliated with the school
Katherine Koonce, head of school (left), and Mike Hill, a custodian (right) were among those shot dead by Audrey Hale
Substitute teacher Cynthia Peak, 61, known as Cindy, is shown with her daughter Ellie. Peak was one of six people shot and killed on Monday in Nashville
Shortly before 10.13am, Hale entered the school, shooting through a side door and began opening fire on the second floor.
Police say all of the doors were locked.
Police arrived at the scene and heard the gunshots coming from the 2nd floor.
By 10.27am, Hale had been shot dead. She was armed with two assault-style rifles and a handgun.
Hale styled herself as an illustrator, drawing under the name Aiden.
Hale’s work included renderings of Sponge Bob Squarepants, a Keith Haring tribute, and a drawing of Jack Nicholson in the film The Shining, with his infamous quote: ‘Here’s Johnny!’
Hale styled herself as an illustrator, creating artworks under the name Aiden
Hale’s art, featured on their illustration page
One of Hale’s pieces was entitled ‘Mad World’
Hale’s art page, where work was displayed under the name Aiden
Hale drew Jack Nicholson, with the catchphrase from The Shining: ‘Here’s Johnny!’
Hale described herself as a graphic designer and illustrator
A terrified child presses her hand against the glass of a school bus window after being evacuated from The Covenant School
Children hold hands as they leave The Covenant School in Nashville, Tennessee, on Monday after a female shooter opened fire, killing three kids and three staff members
Terrified children peer out the windows of their school bus as they wait to be driven away from the school after the shooting
Children from The Covenant School run past an ambulance on Monday after a female shooter opened fire, killing three staff members and three students, before being shot by police
A father carries his son out of The Covenant School in Nashville after a shooter killed three students and two staff members before being shot dead
Parents were told to collect their children from a nearby church, but no other information has been given.
‘I know this is probably the worst day of everyone’s lives.
‘I can’t tell you how sympathetic we are,’ a Metro Police officer was heard telling the parents, as they waited at a nearby church for updates.
Neighbors of the school watched as parents frantically rushed to the scene to find their children.
The community where Covenant School is located is one of the most affluent in Tennessee, The Tennessean reported.
The private Christian school’s zip code of 37215 has one of the state’s highest average household incomes, and enjoys bustling retail districts.
In 2020, the 37215 zip code ranked the area as the most expensive place to buy a home, with a median home sale price of $719,000.
Shortly following the shooting, a heavy vehicle presence could be seen as ambulances and police vehicles flooded Vanderbilt University Medical Center.
Parents collect their children from The Covenant School in Nashville on Monday
A family prays together after being reunited outside The Covenant School in Nashville
A man carries a child at the reunification center at the Woodmont Baptist church after a school shooting, Monday, March 27, 2023, in Nashville
A man walks with children at a reunification center at the Woodmont Baptist Church after a shooting at The Covenant School
Adults walk with a child at a reunification center at the Woodmont Baptist Church
Adults walk with a child at a reunification center at the Woodmont Baptist Church after the shooting
A man takes two children home from The Covenant School after Monday’s shooting
Two adults escort terrified kids away from the Covenant School on Monday after a school shooting
Children and adults wait outside The Covenant School in Nashville following the shooting
Parents gathered in the sanctuary waiting for updates on whether or not their children were among those harmed
A police officer walks by an entrance to The Covenant School after a shooting in Nashville
Terrified children hold hands as they leave The Covenant School in Nashville, Tennessee, on Monday after a shooter opened fire, killing three children, before being shot dead by police
A woman holds her young child after a school shooting at The Covenant School in Nashville on Monday. Three children were killed by the woman
‘Everyone as a parent are terrified,’ said Lisa Debusk.
She told DailyMail.com: ‘You don’t send you kid to school thinking there would be an active shooting, especially in this area.
‘Just hearing as a parent myself it’s truly overwhelming. Seeing all the parents run up the hill to see if their children are okay.’
Susan Perkins, 68, told DailyMail.com that her daughter and step-grandson were in the school at the time of the shooting, and unhurt.
Her daughter is a communications director and her step-grandson is a sixth grade student.
‘I talked to my daughter and she was so busy she just couldn’t talk, just enough to say she was okay,’ said the mother, who lives in Knoxville, TN.
‘I’m just shaking with fear and so sorry that this happened,’ she said. ‘I just can’t hardly believe that three children got killed.’
She described Covenant School as a small, tight-knit, Christian school where everyone knows and supports each other.
‘I did not think it would ever hap to my school and I would like to see the guns off the street,’ Perkins said.
Terrified parents wait for their kids at The Covenant School in Nashville. The woman was killed by police
Parents rushed to the scene to collect their children after the incident on Monday morning
Children pour out of The Covenant School in Nashville, Tennessee, on Monday
Metro Nashville Police officers gather near The Covenant School, a private Christian school in Nashville, Tenn., following a deadly shooting Monday, March 27, 2023
Alison Grippo, 40, told DailyMail.com that she has three children in Covenant School who survived.
As word spread of the mass shooting, she like other parents were directed to nearby Woodmont Baptist Church, set up as a meeting point as they anxiously waited for their kids.
‘She said her own children, like many others, were still speaking with investigators.
‘We’re waiting to be reunited with our kids,’ Grippo told DailyMail.com.
‘This is just hard to understand or put into words. We praise God in all situations, good and bad.’
There are around 33 staff members in the school and some 210 students.
Many of those students were seen running from the building today in their school uniforms after the shooting began.
Other schools in the area went into lockdown as a precaution, but there is not thought to be any additional threat.
Parents gathered at a church next to the school.
Tim Dunavant, a pastor at Harstville First United Methodist Church, said he hired Hill to work at the school over a decade ago.
‘He was the last employee that I hired when I ran the kitchen at the Covenant church and school,’ said Dunavant.
‘That was over 13 years ago. He was still working there today when he was shot and killed.
‘I don’t know the details yet. But I have a feeling, when it all comes out, Mike’s sacrifice saved lives.
‘I have nothing factual to base that upon. I just know what kind of guy he was. And I know he’s the kind of guy that would do that.’
He added: ‘Goodbye Mike, I’m going to miss those encouraging texts out of the blue from you.’
The Scruggs family is pictured together. The youngest member, nine-year-old Hallie, was among the six victims
Hallie Scruggs is seen with her three brothers and her parents, Chad and Jada
The Scruggs family on vacation. Chad Scruggs and his sons were keen hunters, and his social media shows the family out hunting for wild turkey
Tennessee Senator Marsha Blackburn was among the first to share her condolences.
‘Chuck & I are heartbroken to hear about the shooting at Covenant School in Nashville.
‘My office is in contact with federal, state, & local officials, & we stand ready to assist.
‘Thank you to the first responders working on site. Please join us in prayer for those affected.’
Sen. Bill Haggerty tweeted: ‘Devastated and heartbroken about the tragic news at Covenant School.
‘I’m grateful to law enforcement and first responders for their heroic actions.’
Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee tweeted: ‘I am closely monitoring the tragic situation at Covenant…as we continue to respond, please join us in praying for the school, congregation & Nashville community.’
Parents gather in the sanctuary of Woodmont Baptist Church in Nashville on Monday after a shooter opened fire, killing three students
At the National League of Cities conference on Monday, First Lady Jill Biden said: ‘I am truly without words. Our children deserve better. We stand with Nashville in prayer’
At a press briefing, White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said the shooting was proof the ongoing need for stricter gun reform.
First Lady Jill Biden, speaking at the National League of Cities conference on Monday, told the crowd: ‘We just learned about another shooting in Tennessee – a school shooting.
‘I am truly without words. Our children deserve better. We stand with Nashville in prayer.’
Monday’s shooting is the 129th shooting this year.