Police have disclosed that the murderer of three children and three adults at a Christian primary school in Tennessee purchased numerous guns in the weeks building up to the mass killing.
Audrey Hale, 28, was being treated by a doctor for an unidentified mental condition at the time of the attack, Nashville police director John Drake said at a press conference Tuesday afternoon.
Drake stated that he thought the Covenant school victims, including three nine-year-olds, were not particularly targeted.
“We’ve determined that [the killer] purchased seven firearms legally from five different gun stores here,” Drake said. “Three of those weapons were used in yesterday’s horrific tragedy.”
“Law enforcement was unaware of her treatment, but her parents believed she should not own weapons.” They assumed she had only sold one firearm and did not own it anymore. She had been concealing several firearms within the home, it turned out.”
Police published body-camera footage of police advancing through the school, approaching and shooting the assailant. Drake stated that the cops “heard gunfire, immediately ran to that, and took care of this horrible situation.”
Many people drew a comparison between the Nashville killing and the one that occurred last year at a primary school in Uvalde, Texas, where police delayed more than an hour to approach and execute an invader who killed 19 children and two teachers.
Drake did not discuss the issue during the Tuesday press conference.
The texts to an old middle school basketball partner were “basically a suicide note,” according to the assailant, and “you’ll probably hear about me on the news after I die.”
Averianna Patton, the companion, shared the Instagram interaction with News Channel 5, implying that officers were slow to respond after she notified them.
Patton claimed she dialed 911, was instructed to contact another police department’s non-emergency number, was put on hold for nearly seven minutes, and was guaranteed a visit from an officer five hours later.
“I discovered Audrey was the shooter and that she had contacted me prior to the shooting,” Patton said of Hale, who identified as transsexual. “My heart goes out to all of the families who have been affected, and I am devastated by what has occurred.”
Joe Biden also called for an assault firearms prohibition on Tuesday. The president stated at a finance gathering in Durham, North Carolina, that the second amendment, which safeguards firearms possession rights, is “not absolute.”
“You are not permitted to possess an automatic weapon.” You are not permitted to own a machine pistol. You are not permitted to possess a flamethrower. You are not permitted to do many other activities. Why, for the love of God, do we tolerate these instruments of conflict on our streets and in our schools?
“A vast majority of firearms users concur that something must be done. We joined together last year to approve the most important firearms safety law in 30 years. It was a joint effort. We completed the task. Don’t tell me we can’t accomplish more as a team.”
Last year’s law only extended background checks for the youngest gun purchasers and provided funding for mental health and violence prevention programs.
As a devastated community started to mourn with prayer vigils and a growing tribute of flowers and soft objects, investigators in Nashville continued to put together a reason for the killings by a former pupil at the school.
Evelyn Dieckhaus, Hallie Scruggs, and William Kinney, all nine years old, were killed, as were replacement instructor Cynthia Peak, 61, director of school Katherine Koonce, 60, and janitor Mike Hill, 61.
According to the Gun Violence Archive, their deaths were the 129th fatal killing in the United States this year. A mass murder is defined by the repository as one in which four or more persons are shot or injured, not including the assailants.
Drake previously stated on Tuesday that Hale left a “manifesto” before blasting her way into the school equipped with two “assault-style” firearms.
“There could have been some resentment for having to attend that school,” he told CBS News. “We have a pamphlet that details precisely what she intended to do. We had plans that showed the entrance to the school, the weaponry that would be used, and the attire that she would wear, which she had made up almost like a comic figure.
“That’s exactly what she was wearing during the incident.”
Nashville Mayor John Cooper commended the quickness of the police reaction, saying the gunshot “was dealt with in only 14 minutes.” Rex Engelbert and Michael Collazo were the cops who murdered Hale on the second level.
Cooper told CNN that the cops “were running into gunfire and under a lot of gunfire.”
“This is our worst day,” said the mayor. “However, it could have been much worse without this fantastic response.”
Separate security video released on Monday showed Hale coming in a car, firing through glass entrance doors, and then walking through halls with his weapon elevated.
John Ray Clemmons, a Democratic state lawmaker, has denounced an easing of gun laws in 2021, including permitting anyone over the age of 18 to hold and carry firearms without training or permission.
“We’ve been banning books, not guns up here,” he told CNN. “We make voting more difficult than buying an AK.” Tennessee allows permit-less carry, and our governor had the audacity to approve the law at a Beretta production facility. That’s the environment, and that’s the difficult struggle I’m facing.”
Flags were commanded to be flown at half-staff across the province. School officials requested anonymity.
“Our community is in mourning,” they said. “We are in shock and grieving tremendous loss as a result of the terror that shattered our school and church.” We are committed to nurturing our kids, families, teachers, and staff while also starting the recovery process.”
Koonce had been employed at the institution for seven years after relocating from Baton Rouge, Louisiana. Both of the other two adult fatalities worked there.
Scruggs was a third-grade pupil and the daughter of Chad Scruggs, the senior minister of Covenant Presbyterian Church.
According to the Tennessean, Dieckhaus was also in third grade. On Monday night, her family joined a tribute service for the deceased at Woodmont Christian Church. Her elder sibling, a fifth-grader, burst into sobs.
“I don’t want to be an only child,” she expressed her desire.
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