- On Monday, a shooter opened fire at Nashville’s Covenant School, killing three adults and three children.
- The shooter’s mother, Norma Hale, had previously called for gun control.
- Police have not released any information about a possible motive, but the attack is believed to have been targeted.
Years before a shooter entered a Nashville private school and killed six people, the shooter’s mother petitioned for gun control.
On Monday, Audrey Hale opened fire at Nashville’s Covenant School and killed three adults and three children. The children killed in the shooting were identified as Evelyn Dieckhaus, Hallie Scruggs and William Kinney—all 9 years old. The adult victims were Cynthia Peak, Mike Hill, both 61, and Katherine Koonce, 60, listed as head of the school on the Covenant website.
Newsweek previously reported that as of Monday, the Covenant School shooting was the 129th mass shooting in the U.S. this year, with 37 having been committed this month, according to the Gun Violence Archive. Gun violence is the leading cause of death for U.S. children.
Two assault rifles and a handgun were found with the shooter. Police confirmed that officers shot the perpetrator dead at the scene.
The shooter’s mother Norma Hale spoke publicly about the shooting after Audrey Hale was identified as the shooter. Shortly after, Norma Hale’s former calls for gun control resurfaced on social media.
On February 21, 2018, Norma Hale shared a gun control petition on social media requesting Congress make large-capacity gun magazines illegal. A few weeks later on March 8, 2018, Norma Hale shared another petition titled “Keep Guns Out of Schools” with the caption “So important!”
It appears that Norma Hale’s Facebook was either deleted or has strict privacy settings.
The petitions she shared in 2018 appear to have originated from the Sandy Hook Promise Foundation, an effort aimed at preventing gun violence that originated after a shooter opened fire at Sandy Hook Elementary School in 2012 in Connecticut, killing 26 people, 20 of them children.
Newsweek reached out to Sandy Hook Promise by contact form for comment.
“It’s very, very difficult right now. I think I lost my daughter today,” Norma Hale told ABC News after Audrey Hale was identified as the shooter.
Police confirmed Hale identified as “transgender”, and a LinkedIn profile identified Hale’s pronouns as he/him. Hale identifying as transgender has sparked debate about whether the shooter’s identity played a role in the murders, but police have not released any information about a possible motive.
The New York Post reported that Norma Hale often posted Facebook statuses touting her two children’s accomplishments and referring to both of her children as “awesome kids”. According to the article, Norma Hale worked as a coordinator at a Nashville church. Daily Mail reported that Norma Hale and her husband Ronald Hale were described as “very nice” and “very religious”.
Police acquired a manifesto written by Audrey Hale and have spoken publicly about the attack being targeted. It also is believed Audrey Hale previously attended the school. According to police, Audrey Hale did not have a criminal record.
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