The Covenant School shooting was nothing new

The Covenant School shooting was nothing new

I know it’s been a month since the tragic shooting at The Covenant School in Nashville, Tennessee. Not only have I been working on a backlog of other school shooting stories, but I was also waiting for the so-called manifesto to be released. However, after doing my research, I feel like I have enough information to make my point.

But let’s get this out of the way first. I understand the shooter was transitioning from female to male and was identifying as such on social media. I’m not cool with deadnaming anyone, but since the media insisted on using their given name, I’m going to reluctantly do the same. I’ll get more into the trans discussion in a future post.

Anyway, on March 27th, 28-year-old Audrey Hale (aka Aiden Hale) entered The Covenant School in Nashville by shooting through a locked door. Hale shot and killed six victims, three children, and three adults.

The victims were identified as 9-year-olds Evelyn Dieckhaus, Hallie Scruggs and William Kinney, 61-year-old substitute teacher Cynthia Peak, 61-year-old custodian Mike Hill, and 60-year-old school headmaster Katherine Koonce.

Within minutes, police approached the school. Hale is said to have fired at police from a second story window. Nashville police didn’t hesitate to take action as five responding officers entered the school. Officers Rex Engelbert and Michael Collazo encountered Hale, who had taken up a tactical position. Hale was fatally shot by the two officers.

Hale was said to have been armed with two AR-style firearms, one a rifle and another a pistol. Hale was also in possession of a handgun. The two AR-style guns had random stickers on them, with the word ‘hell’ written on one of them.

Hale is believed to have been a former student of the school. Police consider this to have been a targeted attack, but the victims themselves were random targets. It’s also believed Hale conducted surveillance of the school prior to the attack.

During the search of Hale’s home, where they lived with their parents, police found the supposed manifesto that indicated Hale had multiple targets in mind. Some of these targets included a shopping mall and family members. There was also a hand drawn map of the school and its entry points.

Hale legally purchased seven different firearms at five different gun stores in the area. The guns were purchased between October 2020 and June 2022. Hale had no criminal record to legally prevent them from buying the guns. During the search of the home, police found a sawed-off shotgun and an additional shotgun. Hale’s parents believed that Hale only owned one gun and had sold it.

Hale was also said to be under a doctor’s care for an undisclosed emotional disorder, but I haven’t seen what kind of doctor it was or what the disorder was. Tennessee has no red-flag law to speak of.

Just prior to the shooting, while Hale was in the school parking lot, they messaged a former middle school teammate of theirs. The message said, “I’m planning to die today … You’ll probably hear about me on the news.” That message was sent at 9:57 AM. The former teammate contacted the Suicide Prevention Helpline at 10:08 AM. The helpline recommended that she call the sheriff’s office, which she did at 10:14. By that time, Hale was already storming the school. Not yet knowing about the shooting, the sheriff’s office said they would send somebody to Hale’s home. Those deputies did not show up to the home util 3:29 PM.

In the months prior to the shooting, Hale seemed to be taking the death of another former basketball teammate pretty hard. The teammate had died in August of last year following a head-on collision. However, this may have been a one-way relationship, as other teammates have said that Hale and her deceased teammate weren’t really that close and that Hale was more infatuated with her former teammate. On social media, Hale’s comments about her former teammate appeared to be more like those of someone who was grieving the loss of a romantic partner. This was also around the same time that Hale came out as trans and started identifying with male pronouns and asking to be called Aiden.

After reading some of Hale’s writings, Nashville police said Hale not only planned the shooting for months in advance, but also studied previous mass murderers. As a matter of fact, the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation (TBI) added…

…the killer did not write about specific political, religious or social issues. In fact, a primary focus in the journals is on idolizing those who committed prior school shootings.

And there we have it. This is what I think The Covenant School shooting was all about. This wasn’t an attack on Christianity as a whole. This wasn’t about trans induced violence, as some would have you believe. It’s not my intention to demean or devalue the lives of the victims lost, but Hale is nothing more than a copycat. When Hale’s manifesto is publicly released, I wouldn’t be surprised if we found some artwork dedicated to certain Colorado cowards from the late 90s.

Very little about the shooting was an original idea. Not in the way Hale dressed for the shooting, not for the gun used, not for the loss of someone Hale perceived as a loved one, not because Hale may have targeted family members, and not because Hale attended the school. Hell, Hale wasn’t even the first trans school shooter.

Hale even seems to have had some of the stereotypical attributes of a school shooter. Hale was 28 and living at home, and from the impression I got in my research, Hale seemed like a man-child. That’s along with Hale’s infatuation with their former teammate, which makes Hale seem like a neckbeard/incel. As I’ve pointed out in the past, there is a pretty big crossover between columbiners and incels.

“Nihil novi sub sole.” There is nothing new under the sun.

Or the manifesto could be released tomorrow and I could be utterly wrong.

My next post will be about the politics in the aftermath of the shooting. Stay tuned.


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