Audrey Hale, who was a former student at the school, killed 9-year-olds Evelyn Dieckhaus, Hallie Scruggs, and Williams Kinney, custodian Mike Hill, 61, substitute teacher Cynthia Peak, 61, and school headmaster Katherine Koonce, 60, officials said.
At 9:57 a.m., a former middle school basketball teammate of Audrey Hale looked at her phone to find a message from The Covenant School shooter on Instagram.
Averianna Patton said she saw the message that Hale planned to die by suicide and that Patton would see it on the news. In the messages Patton provided to NewsChannel 5, Hale told Patton she would see her again in another life. Hale told Patton about no longer wanting to live and the need to die.
“One day this will make more sense,” Hale wrote. “I’ve left behind more than enough evidence behind. But something bad is about to happen.”
“I tried to comfort and encourage her and subsequently reached out to the Suicide Prevention Help Line after being instructed to by my father at 10:08 am. Audrey has shared with others that she had been suicidal in the past and I knew to take this serious,” Patton said to NewsChannel 5.
Patton said she called the Nashville Davidson County Sheriff’s Office at 10:13 a.m. to make them aware of the situation and was instructed to call Nashville’s non-emergency number.
“I called Nashville’s non-emergency line at 10:14 a.m. and was on hold for nearly seven minutes before speaking with someone who said that they would send an officer to my home. An officer did not come to my home until 3:29 p.m.,” Patton said.
Patton said she wanted to come forward about this circumstance because she believed more urgency should have happened when she reached out to officials for help.
“After phone calls from friends and Audrey’s name was released as the shooter at Covenant Nashville school, I learned that Audrey was the shooter and that she had reached out to me prior to the shooting,” Patton said. “My heart is with all of the families affected and I’m devastated by what has happened.”
Around 9:54 a.m. Monday morning, Hale drove a gray Honda Fit to the Covenant Church and School, pulled around into the parking lot, and parked the car. Then armed with two “assault-type guns” and a 9-millimeter pistol, Hale shot through glass double doors and made her way into the school building.
Active shooter Audrey Elizabeth Hale drove to Covenant Church/School in her Honda Fit this morning, parked, and shot her way into the building. She was armed with 2 assault-type guns and a 9 millimeter pistol. pic.twitter.com/mIk2pDmCwQ
— Metro Nashville PD (@MNPDNashville) March 28, 2023
The first call to 911 about shots being fired in the building came in at 10:13 a.m. Officers rushed to the campus, made entry, and began clearing the building. Shots were heard coming from the second level. It was on the second floor, in a common area, that a team of officers encountered Hale shooting (she had been firing through a window at arriving police cars). Two members of an officer team fired on Hale fired on Hale and fatally wounded her.
Metropolitan Nashville Police Chief John Drake said Officer Rex Englebert and Officer Michael Collazo were the two officers fired at the 28-year-old Audrey Hale “and fatally wounded her.” This ended a horrifying killing spree that left six victims, including three children, dead.