Nashville police said yesterday that Audrey Hale, who carried out Monday's massacre of six people, including three children, at a Christian private school in the Tennessee state capital, was in possession of seven guns and was being monitored by a doctor for psychological problems. explosive cocktail that was behind other such tragedies in the US.
The two assault rifles and the handgun used yesterday by the 28-year-old who sowed death at Covenant School, a small private elementary school in the southern part of the state capital, were purchased legally, as was the rest of her arsenal, the chief of the Nashville police clarified , John Drake.
Audrey Hale, who had attended the school, was shot dead by police in a relatively short period of time elsewhere after killing three children, two girls and a boy aged 8 to 9, and three employees, including the principal.
After describing her as a young woman, law enforcement determined she was transgender who used male pronouns when referring to herself online.
The perpetrator was "monitored by a doctor" as he had "psychological problems", however, she was unknown to the police, as was "the motive" for the massacre, according to the police chief.
A day earlier, he was talking about a "targeted" attack against the school, about detailed plans found in her/his attacker's residence, about her/his possible "grudge" against the school, which focuses on traditional Christian values.
Things may become clearer when the writings left behind by Audrey Hale are studied. During the search of her home, police officers found a text they described as a "manifesto".
Before jumping into action, he texted a contact to warn that "something bad" was about to happen: "One day, everything will make more sense," he said, according to local television station WTVF. "I left more than enough evidence behind."
The killer entered her old school shooting and smashing the glass door. CCTV footage shows a heavily armed figure entering the building.
The police also yesterday released video of the intervention of their members that ended the carnage, captured by body cameras. Police officers are shown walking down corridors decorated with children's drawings and repeatedly shooting Audrey Hale, who collapses.
She was pronounced dead at 10:27. According to the police, she was carrying a large amount of ammunition, prepared to "do more harm".
With Nashville residents in shock, the political class shared his sentiments but was divided as usual on the issue of guns, with Democratic President Joe Biden repeating his call for Congress to ban the sale of assault rifles, which they reject the republican elected officials.
In the absence of better control, it is left up to schools to review their security protocols.
But you can't expect schools to "do security checks," Nina Dyson, a mother of four, said yesterday as she took part in a rally in Nashville with a central demand for stricter gun control.
"Parents across the country have been demanding change for decades and there has been none," he added.
There are roughly 400 million guns in the U.S., which in 2020 accounted for more than 45.000 deaths—a total of homicides, accidents, and suicides—according to the most recent data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
And for the first time this year, guns are the leading cause of death for youth ages 1 to 19, with 4.368 deaths, ahead of traffic accidents and drug overdoses, according to the CDC.
Still, the majority of Americans consider it an inalienable "right" to bear arms, and voices were raised to criticize the school — for not employing an armed private guard.