Nashville Church Moves To Block Release of Transgender Shooter's Manifesto

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May 18, 2023

Covenant Presbyterian Church and its associated Covenant School are asking a Nashville court to block the public release of the manifesto of the transgender shooter who attacked the school in March.

The Nashville police department has yet to release a possible motive for the March 27 shooting, which left three students and three adult staff members dead, and under legal guidance the department has so far withheld the written manifesto of the attacker, 28-year-old Audrey Hale, whom police fatally shot during the assault. In April, the Tennessee Firearms Association and the Nashville Police Association filed lawsuits demanding that the department release the writings and police communications regarding the manifesto to the public.

But in a motion filed Monday, Covenant Church urged the court to keep the manifesto concealed, citing privacy concerns. Releasing the manifesto could "impair or impede [the church's] ability to protect its interests and the privacy of its employees," according to the filing. The manifesto "may include and/or relate to information owned by Covenant Church," such as "schematics of church facilities and confidential information" regarding employees.

A judge will hear the motion on Thursday.

In Hale's home, police found a map of the school and the manifesto, which showed Hale had been planning the attack for months, the department reported at the time of the shooting. Tennessee Bureau of Investigation director David Rausch described the manifesto as "ramblings," the Blaze reported.

Sixty-six Republican Tennessee state representatives in a letter sent Monday urged the police to release the shooter's "writings as well as relevant medical records and toxicology reports."

"The release of these records is critical to the General Assembly's ability to construct effective solutions that can prevent future acts of violence," the representatives wrote to Nashville police chief John Drake.