NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) — Images of unverified pages from The Covenant School shooter’s writings were released to the public Monday by a conservative radio host.
Steven Crowder posted images of three pages from a notebook allegedly from the shooter’s so-called “manifesto.”
Crowder told News 2’s Nikki McGee the images were taken by a detective at the Covenant School scene and sent to his source within the Metro Nashville Police Department. His team flew to Nashville to obtain the images and verify the source.
He did not disclose if he has any more pages to share, but added Metro police should be able to authenticate the documents since they have possession of the shooter’s journals.
Metro police spokesperson Kris Mumford told News 2 the department is “still looking into it.”
Nashville mayor Freddie O’Connell said his office is investigating the release of the images and issued a statement, which reads:
“I have directed Wally Dietz, Metro’s Law Director, to initiate an investigation into how these images could have been released. That investigation may involve local, state, and federal authorities. I am deeply concerned with the safety, security, and well-being of the Covenant families and all Nashvillians who are grieving. This incident naturally invokes additional emotional trauma, and families or individuals who need support should reach out to professionals at National Alliance on Mental Illness (615-891-4724), MNPD support counselors (615-862-7773) or MNPS Family Information Center (615-259-INFO).”Mayor O’Connell
David Raybin, attorney for the shooter’s parents, said he is not in a position to authenticate the images and it would be inappropriate for him to comment on pending litigation.
The Covenant Families For Brighter Tomorrows told News 2 it has no comment regarding the alleged manifesto release.
On March 27, six people, including three children, were shot and killed by 28-year-old Audrey Hale at the Covenant School in Green Hills. The victims were identified as Evelyn Dieckhaus, Hallie Scruggs, and William Kinney, all 9 years old; as well as Cynthia Peak, 61; Dr. Katherine Koonce, 60; and Mike Hill, 61.
After searching the shooter’s home and car, police discovered multiple journals that allegedly documented the plans to commit mass murder months before the shooting happened.
According to police, the shooter fired a total of 152 rounds (126 rifle rounds and 26 nine-millimeter rounds) from the time Hale shot their way into the school to the time Hale was shot and killed by police.
The collective writings written by the shooter found in a vehicle left in the school parking lot, and others found in the home search, show Hale documented the planning over a period of months to commit mass murder at The Covenant School. Hale also considered “the actions of other mass murderers.”
According to the autopsy report, the shooter was wearing a white shirt with “handwritten words, drawings and numbers written on it.” The report did not detail what the writings said, but noted handwritten words were also found on the shooter’s bra.
There is an ongoing legal battle on whether the writings should be released to the public, with both sides of the aisle posing strong arguments. On Monday, Oct. 16, the Court of Appeals heard why both Covenant families and Metro Government believe they have the right to weigh in on whether the so-called manifesto is released.
There is no timeline on when the court will decide whether or not parents and Metro government will get to weigh in on the release of these documents. A separate judge will decide if, and what parts of the documents will be released.
Students, faculty and staff are set to return to The Covenant School campus in January.