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Wednesday, May 31, 2023

Nashville judge to weigh release of Covenant School shooter's writings

A Nashville judge heard arguments Monday on the potential release of the writings of The Covenant School shooter in preparation for a public hearing on the matter next month.  

The status hearing saw attorneys representing the parents, church and school, the city of Nashville and attorneys for The Covenant School, Covenant Church and Covenant parents amid a slew of lawsuits arguing both for and against the release of the writing that could shed light on a potential motive. 

A judge will rule Wednesday to allow the parents to be heard during the upcoming June 8 hearing on the writings, Fox 17 reported. 

Covenant School memorial

A group of parents whose children attend The Covenant School are seeking to keep the shooter’s writings from being released to the public.  (AP Photo/Wade Payne, File)

Just hours after the bloodshed, investigators also executed search warrants on Hale’s family home on Brightwood Avenue, where officers found two shotguns and a suicide note was found on a desk. Five Covenant School yearbooks were seized from the home, as well as a psych medical folder. 

Authorities have said collective writings found in Hale’s vehicle left in the school parking lot, and others found at the home, support that Hale documented planning The Covenant School shooting over a period of months and also considered “the actions of other mass murderers.”

Some say the writings will help victims and authorities understand Hale’s motive and thinking at the time fo the shooting. 

A group of Tennessee parents whose children attend The Covenant School, filed a motion last Wednesday seeking to keep the shooter’s writings from being released to the public. “The Parents see no good that can come from the release and wish to contend that the writings — which they believe are the dangerous and harmful writings of a mentally-damaged person – should not be released at all,” their filling reads.

In a letter to Nashville Police Chief John Drake, House Republican Caucus Chairman Jeremy Faison said the timely release of the records is “critical to understanding the shooter’s behavior and motives” before lawmakers convene for a special session where they are expected to consider a proposal to remove firearms from people judged dangerous to themselves or others.


Audrey Hale in tactical gear marauding through a school hallway

Covenant School shooter Audrey Hale, 28, pictured in a driver’s license photo and on school surveillance video released by Nashville police. Hale killed three 9-year-olds and three adults at a private school linked to a church. (Metro Nashville Police Department)

In addition, three conservative groups had previously filed lawsuits seeking to force Nashville police to turn over the records. 

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