The New York Post reported on Audrey Hale’s possible motivation for carrying out a horrific mass shooting at The Covenant School, a Christian elementary school, on Monday. The initial report noted a possible connection with one of the victims, nine-year-old Hallie Scruggs.
Hallie, featured in the top right position in the photo below, is the daughter of the senior pastor of the church that coordinates the school as one of its ministries to the community. Reportedly, Pastor Scruggs had provided counseling to the shooter. That report has since been retracted.
Jim Bachmann, a former pastor at The Covenant School in Nashville, Tenn., was familiar with the shooter and told Inside Edition: “Something didn’t sit right with her.”
Newly released school surveillance video shows the shooter shooting her way through locked glass doors, entering the school, and apparently looking for someone — Bachmann suggested to Inside Edition that she could have been looking for young Hallie or her father, Chad Scruggs.
Police note the shooter, 28, was a troubled former student who, in recent months, began to identify as a trans male.
Documents in the shooter’s residence show detailed plans to attack the school; however, new evidence indicates the shooter also intended to attack a mall and possibly two other schools but decided against it due to the presence of armed security.
Nashville Police Chief John Drake revealed: “There was another location [noted in the shooter’s manifesto], but because of a threat assessment by the suspect of too much security, [the shooter] … decided not to [attack].”
Bachmann speculated: “If [Hale] had found Chad and tried to kill him, I don’t know if [Hale would] have left his daughter alone.”
The killer’s parents claimed they believed the guns used in the shooting were legally purchased but sold months ago when they expressed disapproval.
Nine-year-old’s Evelyn Dieckhaus and William Kinney were also killed by Hale, as was school janitor Mike Hill, substitute teacher Cynthia Peak and Principal Dr. Katherine Koonce.
The New York Post noted the FBI had joined local authorities in investigating the incident.
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