The former student of a Christian elementary school in Nashville who killed three 9-year-olds and three adults in a shooting was under a doctor’s care for an ’emotional disturbance’ and had amassed a gun collection, the Nashville police chief said.
New details about the assailant Audrey Elizabeth Hale, 28, emerged hours after police released harrowing video showing officers storming the Covenant School amid the riot Monday and conducting a room-to-room search before leaving. confront and fatally shoot Hale.
Hale’s own parents were unaware Hale owned multiple firearms, mistakenly believing Hale had owned only one gun and later sold it, Drake said. The chief added that the mother and father felt Hale should not have had guns due to mental health issues.
Hale ‘was under medical care for an emotional disorder,’ the chief told reporters during a news conference, without elaborating.
Under Tennessee law, mental illness is not a reason for police to seize weapons unless a person is found by a court to be mentally incompetent, ‘judicially committed’ to a mental institution’ or placed under guardianship ‘for a mental defect’.
Tennessee prohibits the sale of weapons to persons determined by a court or other legal authority to pose a danger to themselves or others, or to lack the ability to manage their own affairs due to mental illness. But simply being under a doctor’s care, in and of itself, would not reach that threshold.
Drake said it appeared Hale had some type of weapons training. Hale fired at officers from the second floor of the school as they arrived in patrol cars as they backed away from the large windows to avoid making themselves an easy target.
Hale had maps of the school
According to Chief of Police, Aaron Drake, the suspect in the shooting at Covenant School, identified as transgender and left behind a detailed map of the school’s entry points and a possible ‘manifesto’ that suggested plans for shootings at other locations.
Drake did not provide any additional details on how the suspect’s gender identity, educational background, or social or religious dynamics may have played a role in the incident, and investigators have yet to determine a motive.
The shooting occurred amidst a contentious political debate in Tennessee over LGBTQ rights, with the state recently passing laws banning gender-affirming medical treatments for transgender children and imposing restrictions on drag performances.
Police release video of Michigan school shooting
The Michigan Police Department released six minutes of video footage Monday showing the response of two officers to the school shooting that took place earlier this month.
The video begins with an officer removing a rifle from his trunk as a staff member informs him of the disappearance of two children.
Officers can be seen clearing room after room before reaching the living room, where the suspect is seen lying on the floor after being shot.
The footage shows both officers firing multiple rounds at the assailant, who continues to move across the ground.
The police department reported that only 14 minutes elapsed from the first reports of the shooting to the neutralization of the suspect.
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