United States Nashville school shooting shooter had seven firearms

The transgender person who killed three children and three adults at a Nashville school bought and concealed several firearms in his home while being treated for psychiatric problems, police in that southeastern US city said Tuesday

United States Nashville school shooting shooter had seven firearms

The transgender person who killed three children and three adults at a Nashville school bought and concealed several firearms in his home while being treated for psychiatric problems, police in that southeastern US city said Tuesday.

Two nine-year-old girls, a nine-year-old boy, two teachers and a school janitor were killed in Monday's shooting, reigniting the bitter public debate over gun rights in the United States.

Nashville Police Chief John Drake told a news conference that Audrey Hale, 28, had been receiving treatment for an "emotional disturbance" and that her parents, whose home she lived in, believed she had bought and then resold. a single firearm.

But Hale was carrying two assault rifles and a pistol when he entered the Covenant School, a Covenant Presbyterian Church educational center of about 200 students that he had attended as a child.

Hale, whom police described as a woman who identified with male pronouns on social media, had prepared detailed maps of the school and also left a written manifesto suggesting she was planning attacks elsewhere.

"Audrey Hale legally purchased seven firearms from five different local gun stores," Drake said. "Three of those weapons were used in this horrible tragedy."

"He was under medical attention for an emotional disorder," he added. "His parents felt that she should not own guns. They were under the impression that she had sold the only gun he owned," but "it turned out that she had been hiding several guns around the house."

Drake said the dead children and adults were not targeted individually and the motive for the shooting was still unknown.

In security camera video, Hale is seen shooting through the glass doors to enter the school before stalking the empty hallways as emergency alarm lights flash.

Hale, who was wearing a black military-style vest, camouflage pants and a red cap, walked through the building and opened fire on children and employees.

Police arrived at the scene about 15 minutes after the first emergency call on Monday morning. Body camera footage of officers shows them entering classrooms and multiple shots are heard as they approach the site where Hale was shot.

Averianna Patton, a former high school classmate of Hale's, told CNN that she had sent him direct messages via Instagram shortly before the massacre.

"Someday this will make more sense," Hale wrote. "I left behind more than enough evidence. But something bad is about to happen." Patton said he called police to raise an alert about the time the shooting was starting.

Searching for a reason, Drake told NBC News there might be "some resentment" from Hale about having to go to that school.

One of the children killed was Hallie Scruggs, the daughter of the church's pastor. "We are heartbroken. It was a great gift," Chad Scruggs told local media.

When asked if Hale's gender identity may have been a factor in the attack, police said they were looking into all leads.

In front of the school, located in South Nashville, people left flowers and stuffed animals at a makeshift memorial. Some knelt to pray Chad Baker, 44, said he was "horrified and very sad."

"Most days I carry a gun, but I don't need an assault rifle," he told AFP. "I don't think buying a gun should be as easy as buying flowers."

There were more than 24 million AR-15-style assault weapons in circulation in the United States as of mid-2022, according to the National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF).

President Joe Biden signaled Tuesday that most Americans are against assault rifles and urged Congress to reinstate the nationwide ban on these weapons, which ran from 1994 to 2004 and was not renewed.

"We owe these families more than our prayers," Biden said in a speech in North Carolina.

In the absence of better oversight, it is up to schools to review their security protocols.

But "it's not up to schools to deal with safety," Nina Dyson, a mother of four, lamented Tuesday at a small protest in Nashville for greater gun control.

"Parents across the country have been demanding change for decades and there hasn't been any," he said at the rally, which was scheduled to take place before the shooting.

Attempts to ban these powerful weapons, often used in mass shootings, face opposition from Republicans, staunch defenders of the constitutional right to bear arms.

So far this year in the United States there have been 129 mass shootings in which at least four people have been shot or killed, according to the NGO Gun Violence Archive.

According to the criteria of The Trust Project

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