Nashville Authorities Investigating Alleged Leak of Covenant Shooter’s Hate-Fueled Manifesto

The alleged writings of the shooter who killed six at a Christian school in Nashville, Tennessee, in March have been leaked, prompting an investigation.
Nashville Authorities Investigating Alleged Leak of Covenant Shooter’s Hate-Fueled Manifesto
Officials identified the suspect in the Nashville Christian school shooting incident as 28-year-old Audrey Hale, as Nashville Police released surveillance footage, a still from which is seen above, on March 28, 2023. (Nashville Police Department)
Chase Smith
The alleged writings of the shooter who took the lives of six people, including three children, at a Christian school in Nashville, Tennessee, in March have been leaked, according to a report from podcaster Steven Crowder that prompted local officials to investigate the source of the leak.

Nashville Mayor Freddie O’Connell said in a statement on Nov. 6 that he had directed the city’s legal director to initiate an investigation into the leak, but he didn’t address the veracity of the documents. Other agencies were unable to verify the authenticity of the documents when asked to do so by The Epoch Times on Nov. 6.

“I have directed Wally Dietz, Metro’s law director, to initiate an investigation into how these images could have been released,“ Mr. O'Connell said in the statement. ”That investigation may involve local, state, and federal authorities. I am deeply concerned with the safety, security, and well-being of the Covenant families and all Nashvillians who are grieving.”

He added that the release of the alleged manifesto “naturally invokes additional emotional trauma” and directed people who need support to reach out to professionals at the National Alliance on Mental Illness (615-891-4724), MNPD support counselors (615-862-7773), or the MNPS Family Information Center (615-259-INFO).

The Epoch Times is still working to confirm the veracity of the supposed manifesto, of which three pages—allegedly written by Audrey Hale, 28, the shooter identified by the Metropolitan Nashville Police Department (MNPD)— were uploaded to Mr. Crowder’s website.

The Supposed Leak

In a video posted on Nov. 6 to YouTube and Rumble, Mr. Crowder said the manifesto was leaked to his “Mug Club” investigative team and shared screenshots of portions of the document. Crowder’s show “Louder with Crowder” didn’t respond by press time to a request from The Epoch Times for comment.

A spokeswoman for MNPD said there was “no information” they could provide at this time when reached via phone on the morning of Nov. 6 but the department issued a statement later in the afternoon.

“The MNPD is in communication with the Metropolitan Department of Law as an investigation, begun this morning, continues into the dissemination of three photographs of writings during an on-line discussion about Covenant School,” MNPD said in their statement. “The photographs are not MNPD crime scene images. The police department has been in contact with a representative of Covenant families. Police department counselors are available to assist them in coping with the emotional trauma caused by the dissemination.”

So far, the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation (TBI) said that they can offer no confirmation of the documents, according to a spokesman of the agency.

The lead attorney representing the parents in lawsuits regarding the release of the documents, Eric Osborne, said in an email on Nov. 6 that the parents “may” have “something to say later today.”

Mr. Osborne has argued in court on behalf of the parents that the writings should never be released to avoid causing psychological harm to survivors, ensure safety at the school, and avoid a “copycat” attack.

Alleged Writings Detail Hate-Fueled Attack

On his show, Mr. Crowder read portions of the manifesto, which detailed what could have been years of hate-fueled planning of the attack.

In one page, Ms. Hale, who was also known as Aiden and was identified by police as a female-to-male transgender person, said she was nearly “caught” planning the attack, “especially back in the summer of 2021.”

The writings, which MNPD Chief John Drake described as a “manifesto” in the days after the attack and later referred to as a “series of writings,” include various references to murdering children whom she referred to as “crackers,” a racial slur for white people.

She also referred to the children as having “white [privilege]” while going to “fancy private schools” with their “fancy khakis and sports backpacks” in their parents’ “mustangs and convertables [sic].”

Ms. Hale used the name Audrey and Aiden on different pages that were leaked; she used the name Aiden on a page seemingly written on the day of the shooting.

That morning, she allegedly wrote that “the day has finally come” and that she was “a little nervous, but excited too.”

She wrote that she had “been excited for the past 2 weeks” indicating further that the attack was planned.

“Can’t believe I’m doing this, but I’m ready. ... I hope my victims aren’t. My only fear is if anything goes wrong, I’ll do my best to prevent any of the sort,” she wrote.

She ended her “death day” page with the wish that she would “have a high death count” and wrote that she was “ready to die.”

Nashville Police Chief John Drake delivers a press briefing at the entrance of The Covenant School in Nashville, Tenn., on March 28, 2023. (Seth Herald/Getty Images)
Nashville Police Chief John Drake delivers a press briefing at the entrance of The Covenant School in Nashville, Tenn., on March 28, 2023. (Seth Herald/Getty Images)

Expletive-Laden February Entry

In a page supposedly written on Feb. 3, a month before the attack, she went on an expletive-laden attack on the children themselves, of which the three she murdered were only nine years old.

She wrote “Kill those kids!!!” while attacking them for their “white privilege” and continuing her expletive-laden rant.

“[Expletive] you little [expletive]. I wish to shoot you [expletive] w/ your mop yellow hair. Wanna kill all you little crackers!!! Bunch of little [expletive] w/ your white privlages [sic]. [Expletive] you [expletive].”

Schedule of Terror

The third page of the leaked writings details her desired schedule for how her “death day” would unfold.
The home of the Covenant school shooter, in its south Nashville neighborhood on March 31, 2023, days after police agencies raided the home following the shooting. (Chase Smith/The Epoch Times)
The home of the Covenant school shooter, in its south Nashville neighborhood on March 31, 2023, days after police agencies raided the home following the shooting. (Chase Smith/The Epoch Times)

She wrote she would begin her day early, eating breakfast at home, which she circled in a heart shape, before packing up her belongings and heading to a West Nashville shooting range.

Next, the notes indicate that she recorded a 10-minute long “final video tape” before heading to the school.

She details that she would prepare for the attack once on campus by locking and loading her weapons and opening fire toward a specific entrance.

She ends the schedule with “Let massacre begin. Time2die,” indicating that she planned to die at the hands of herself or the police. Hale was killed shortly after beginning her attack by police who arrived on the scene.

What Happened

In late March, Ms. Hale entered the Covenant School, a private Christian school located on the campus of Covenant Presbyterian Church in south Nashville, and killed six people, including three children.

MNPD has kept various records related to the incident, including a “manifesto” from the shooter, under wraps, prompting appeals from media outlets and other organizations for the release of these documents.

In recent weeks, a Tennessee Court of Appeals panel heard arguments on whether it was appropriate for a lower court to allow parents to become third-party interveners in the lawsuits seeking to force MNPD to release the documents.

A lower court this summer ruled to allow the Covenant School parents, church, and school to join the lawsuit as third-party interveners. The plaintiffs, who disagreed with that decision, took their appeal to the higher court on May 30.

Arguments in the lower court over the merits of the case have not even been argued yet, as the immediate appeal of the court’s decision to allow intervention led the higher court to issue a stay to halt those proceedings in June as the appeal process plays out.

Originally, the lower court under Davison County Chancellor I’Ashea Myles declined to put the proceedings on hold, but the appellate court’s order took precedence over her ruling. The reason given by the higher court was to ensure that all parties’ rights were adequately protected during the appeal process.

It isn’t clear whether the supposed leak of portions of the so-called manifesto will affect the pending court cases.

Covenant Family Representative Speaks

Brent Leatherwood, a father of three children who survived the Covenant shooting on March 27, addressed the press regarding the leaked documents from the shooter at Woodmont Baptist on Monday afternoon.

He emphasized the significance of the church as a place of reunification and sanctuary on the day of the shooting.

Mr. Leatherwood highlighted what he said is the immense trauma endured by the Covenant families over the past eight months and the additional pain caused by the release Monday.

He stressed that these materials only reaffirmed what was already known—that the shooter was deeply disturbed and detached from reality.

He called on those who shared these images online to show humanity and urged them to redirect any profits toward the affected families or the Covenant school’s security efforts.

Mr. Leatherwood expressed concern that these writings could inspire further attacks, referencing a similar incident in Allen, Texas, where he said the shooter wrote about the Covenant attack.

Mr. Leatherwood also addressed what he said was the individual within the law enforcement community who allegedly leaked the documents, calling them a “viper” who violated the trust of vulnerable families.

“You have shared evidence collected during our most vulnerable moment,” he said. “You have allowed the individual who terrorized our families with bullets to now terrorize us with words from beyond the grave. What kind of person does this?”

He added he had spoken with MNPD, TBI, and others, and had been assured that the leak was a felony, and the responsible individual would be brought to justice.

“The vast majority of our police officers have displayed incredible bravery, both on that day and in their interactions with us since,” he said. “This act does not reflect the law enforcement community as a whole. It is the work of someone within their midst. To that person, I commit to praying for you. I hope you will reveal yourself so that justice can be served.”

In answering questions from the media, Mr. Leatherwood confirmed that he believes the leaked materials are authentic and stated that this incident would not change their ongoing legal efforts to protect their children and families from further exposure to these disturbing materials.

The Epoch Times reached out to TBI and MNPD to verify if the agencies had identified an officer as a source of the leak as Leatherwood indicated, but did not yet hear back.

Chase is an award-winning journalist. He covers national news for The Epoch Times and is based out of Tennessee. For news tips, send Chase an email at [email protected] or connect with him on X.
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