The heavily armed shooter accused of killing six people at a Nashville Christian school left behind a manifesto and map outlining motives for the attack, authorities said Monday.
Police identified the attacker as Audrey Elizabeth Hale, 28, a transgender man who was assigned female at birth. Hale entered the Covenant school with an AR-style rifle, and AR-style pistol, and another handgun, police said.
“We have a manifesto, we have some writings that we are going over that pertain to this date, the actual incident,” Metro Nashville Police Department Chief John Drake said at an afternoon press conference. “We have a map drawn out of how this was all going to take place.”
Responding officers killed Hale, a Nashville resident, in a lobby area inside the school, Drake said.
Five of the victims were pronounced dead at nearby Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt; the sixth was pronounced dead at the scene, according to authorities.
“It could have been far, far worse,” Drake said.
Who is the Nashville school shooter?
Police officials said Hale had formerly been a student at the small, private Christian school but they were still investigating when. Drake said authorities believe they understand Hale’s motive, which Drake indicated was connected to being transgender.
“There is some theory to that,” he said in response to a question. “We are investigating all the leads and once we know exactly we’ll let you know.”
Hale parked a car nearby before entering the school by shooting open a side door, police said.
Drake said Hale apparently considered a second Nashville-area target for an attack but didn’t go through with it because it had more security.
According to police, the attack took place three days after Hale’s 28th birthday.
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How was Hale armed?
Drake on Monday afternoon said Hale entered the school with an AR-style rifle, and AR-style pistol, and another handgun. AR-style weapons are often used in mass shootings because they allow the shooter to fire many rounds rapidly.
Speaking Monday afternoon, President Joe Biden renewed his call for a ban on similar firearms.
In a press conference Monday afternoon, Drake declined to discuss whether Hale was wearing body armor, which has become common among mass shooters.
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