Release of Mass Shooter’s Manifesto Sparks Outrage

( – Media organizations and others have been fighting with Nashville families for months over the release of the Covenant School shooter’s manifesto. The court battle is ongoing, but someone leaked pages of the document in the meantime. Now, the mayor is taking action.

In March, Audrey Hale, a transgender former student, killed three adults and three students at the school. The students killed were all 9 years old, and their names were Evelyn Dieckhaus, Hallie Scruggs, and William Kinney. The adults were substitute teacher Cynthia Peak, 61, school director Katherine Koonce, 60, and custodian Mike Hill, 61.

The police fatally shot her and ended the rampage. In the aftermath of the massacre, officials found a suicide note, a memoir, and at least 20 journals. The Metro Nashville Police Department (MNPD) announced it intended to release the writings, but not until its investigation was complete. Families of the victims and others wanted the courts to seal the records.

On Monday, November 6, conservative commentator Steven Crowder published images of what he said were Hale’s writings. The MNPD confirmed the authenticity of the images.

The Tennessean reported Nashville Mayor Freddie O’Connell said he directed Metro’s Law Director Wally Dietz to begin a probe “into how [the] images could have been released.” He went on to say the investigation might involve federal, state, and local officials.

Nashville Police Chief John Drake stated that the release of the images “showed a total disregard for Covenant families” and the courts. He explained that his department wasn’t “at liberty to release the journals until the” Tennessee Court of Appeals and Davidson County Chancery Court rule on whether they should be.

Tennessee Governor Bill Lee (R) said that his administration has “no legal authority” over Hale’s writings and that he is going to push the police department to “address the horrific pages published” by the Crowder.

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