Transgender Nashville school shooter with ‘high-functioning autism,’ Audrey Hale, 28, has been seen talking about her ‘growth as an artist’ as police reveal she’d drawn a cartoon-like massacre manifesto detailing her twisted plan.
Hale shot and killed three nine-year-old students and three staff members at The Covenant School in Green Hills on Monday in what police are calling a ‘targeted attack.’
Eerie footage of Hale’s college graduation, posted June 2022, and a short interview of the art school’s ‘Senior Portfolio Show’ posted July that same year – reveal the deranged killer portraying a seemingly happy persona as she talked about her ‘growth as an artist.’
The 28-year-old was seen smiling as she walked on stage at her college graduation – a stark contrast to the emotionless surveillance footage of Hale stalking the halls of her old school just eight months later.
Transgender Nashville school shooter with ‘high-functioning autism,’ Audrey Hale, 28, has been seen talking about her ‘growth as an artist’
The 28-year-old was also seen smiling as she walked on stage at her college graduation – a stark contrast to the emotionless surveillance footage of Hale stalking the halls of her old school
In the first video at the Spring 2022 Senior Portfolio Show at Nossi College of Art in Nashville Hale said the process of becoming an artist had been hard but worth it.
‘It’s been hard but it’s also been an amazing experience when it comes to developing my creative talents and growing as an artist,’ she said.
The second video, shows Hale beaming as she graduated from the art college in a promotional video for the school.
Early Tuesday, Chief of Nashville Police John Drake told CBS Mornings that while the investigation was still ongoing ‘resentment for having to go to that school’ is the most plausible motive that’s surfaced.
‘I can’t go deeply into that because its unconfirmed,’ he said.
Drake added that Hale’s massacre manifesto revealed her penchant for the arts as she drew deranged images detailing her plan.
‘So we have a manifesto – we have a booklet that shows exactly what she had planned to do. We have maps that showed the entry point into the school, the weapons that she was going to use, the clothing that she was going to wear. She had drawn it up almost like a cartoon character,’ he said.
‘It was exactly what she had on during this incident and she was a previous student she had connections there.’
The Nashville police chief again stressed that the attack felt ‘targeted.’
‘The head of the school was assassinated in the hallway, so we feel like it was targeted and planned,’ he said.
Hale is seen beaming as she graduated last year from Nossi College of Art
Eerie footage showed someone who appeared to be in good spirits – a stark contrast to Hale as she stalked the hallways of her old school in Nashville
Police revealed that the passionate artist had also drawn a cartoon-like massacre manifesto detailing her twisted plan
Pictures from Hale’s senior portfolio revealed similar cartoon-like images
‘It’s so unfortunate as this investigation continues – the kids [also seem like they] were obviously targeted.
‘Praise go out to the men and women, the two officers that went into the school, because we could have had far more casualties than what we had.’
Drake said that the response which took place 14 minutes after Hale had first arrived on school grounds as well as thorough training saved lives.
‘They immediately responded, went inside addressed and mitigated the suspect. And I give the school credit as well because, for some reason, the alarm was going off – the fire alarm – so there weren’t any kids in the hallway,’ he said.
‘So I think they’d gone through some type of training I found out more about that today but they played a great role as well and prevented more lives being lost.’
A source close to the Hale family told The Daily Beast on Monday night that Hale was autistic, but high-functioning.
‘And relatively recently announced she was transgender, identifying as he/him,’ the source said.
While police initially described the suspect as a 28-year-old white woman, a LinkedIn profile, which the source confirmed to The Daily Beast as belonging to Hale, listed he/him pronouns.
Drake said at a press conference Monday afternoon that Hale was transgender.
A search of Hale’s home turned up ‘maps drawn of the school, in detail, so, surveillance, entry points, et cetera,’ Drake said.
Inside a Honda Fit that Hale drove and parked at the school campus Friday morning, cops found ‘additional material written by Hale,’ police said in a tweet.
Hale drew Jack Nicholson, with the catchphrase from The Shining: ‘Here’s Johnny!’
The film follows a writer and recovering alcoholic who begins to lose his mind and endanger his family when he becomes the caretaker of a ghost-infested hotel
Hale created this image, captioned ‘To be a kid forever and ever’
The 28-year-old who opened fire at a Nashville school on Monday was also revealed to have been distributing her art online as a transgender artist.
Hale ran an online art side, Audrey Hale Illustrations, and described her work as: ‘Commercial Illustration and Graphic Design’.
Hale also had a social media account promoting the art, where Hale referred to herself by the name Aiden.
Hale’s work included a drawing of Jack Nicholson from The Shining, with lettering including his catchphrase ‘Where’s Johnny?’
The drawing had the words ‘Red Rum’ written across it – murder, spelt backwards. The words were written on a door in a scene from the 1980 horror film.
Hale described herself as a graphic designer and illustrator
Hale’s art, featured on their illustration page
Hale’s art page, where work was displayed under the name Aiden
One of Hale’s pieces was entitled ‘Mad World’
Norma Hale (pictured center), the mother of Audrey Hale (pictured right), the transgender shooter who killed six people, including three nine-year-old children and three staff members, was herself an advocate for gun control on social media
Hale also created an image of some feet stretching up towards the sky, with a person in recline, perhaps swinging on a swing.
‘To be a kid forever and ever,’ the caption states.
Hale also appeared to draw cartoons for a children’s book, ‘Toys and Books’.
Hale left a detailed manifesto and plan for the shooting at her home, and another in her car.
Hale began her attack on Monday morning, driving into the school parking lot shortly before 10am.
At around 10.13am, Hale opened fire at The Covenant School, shooting and killing Evelyn Dieckhaus, Hallie Scruggs and William Kinney, all aged nine.
Substitute teacher Cynthia Peak, 61, head of school Dr. Katherine Koonce, 60, and custodian Mike Hill, 61, were also killed.
A photo of Audrey Hale inside The Covenant School during the shooting
This is the moment the doors to the school shattered as Audrey Hale blasted through them with one of the three guns she brought to kill six people
Hale was filmed stalking through a tiled area shortly after entering the school. She was shot dead 14 minutes after she broke into the school by two cops, after firing at them from an adjoining church
A 9 millimeter pistol was also being carried by the shooter during the Monday murders
Nashville police have released photos of the three weapons used in the shooting, which included two assault-type rifles
The second of two rifles used in the shooting has been pictured by Nashville Police
Koonce worked alongside her daughter Anna at The Covenant School, who serves as a faculty/student assistant.
Within 14 minutes, Hale was dead, as Nashville police revealed photos of the two officers – Rex Engelbart and Michael Collazo – who shot and killed Hale.
In a statement issued late Monday night, a spokesperson for the school said: ‘Our community is heartbroken.
‘We are grieving tremendous loss and are in shock coming out of the terror that shattered our school and church.
‘We are focused on loving our students, our families, our faculty and staff and beginning the process of healing.’
Norma Hale spoke to ABC News shortly after her daughter Audrey Hale, 28, was named as the shooter.
She said: ‘It’s very, very difficult right now. I think I lost my daughter today.’ Norma then requested privacy as her family struggles to cope with the magnitude of her late daughter’s actions.
Norma’s own posts decrying school shootings and calling for increased gun control have emerged in the wake of Hale’s massacre at the school she once attended.
On February 21, 2018, Norma posted a petition to make large-capacity gun magazines illegal to her page as a response to the horrors at Sandy Hook Elementary School in 2012.
And on March 8, 2018, she posted a petition to keep guns out of schools with the caption: ‘So important!’
Hale and her family were described as ‘very nice’ and ‘very religious.’ She’s pictured here with Audrey and her brother Scott
Night falls on Brightwood Avenue in Nashville, where the Hale family lives
Hallie Scruggs is seen with her father Chad Scruggs, the pastor at the presbyterian church affiliated with the school
Katherine Koonce, head of school (left), and Mike Hill, a custodian (right) were among those shot dead by Audrey Hale
Substitute teacher Cynthia Peak, 61, known as Cindy (right) is shown with her daughter Ellie. Peak was one of six people shot and killed on Monday in Nashville
Audrey Hale, 28, opened fire at a Nashville school on Monday, killing six
Hale’s LinkedIn profile suggested they were now living as a man
A high school friend of the Hale’s was shocked to learn the outgoing girl she ran track with was behind the massacre.
The friend, who requested to remain anonymous, described Hale to DailyMail.com as ‘sweet and funny’.
The friend recalled her faint memories with Hale at the Nashville School of the Arts from around 2011 to 2014.
‘What she did was unforgivable but when I knew her she was a sweet and funny girl,’ the friend told DailyMail.com.
‘When she came out as trans (female to male) no one was surprised.
‘She really didn’t fit the school shooter archetype.
‘I don’t know what would have happened to turn her into this person we see on the news.
‘Everyone in my graduating class is losing it on Facebook.
‘Really no one would have seen this coming.’