Nashville police are investigating after purported excerpts from Covenant School shooter Audrey Elizabeth Hale's 'manifesto' surfaced publicly on Monday. They were made available online by conservative commentator Steven Crowder.
The documents, allegedly found in Hale's car, provide insights into the motives behind the attack that claimed six lives in March, with the shooter expressing her anger towards “white privilege.” In the notes, Hale referred to her targets as “crackers,” an anti-white slur.
While a city police spokeswoman acknowledged awareness of the alleged leak to Fox News Digital, she emphasized that confirmation of the documents' authenticity was pending. Separately, Fox Nashville confirmed the authenticity of the documents with its own independent sources.
The Nashville Police Department clarified that the images circulating are not official crime scene photos, stating that “The photographs are not MNPD crime scene images.”
Documents recovered from Hale's vehicle after the fatal school shooting have been withheld from public release amid ongoing legal disputes. Both the police and a group of school parents have opposed the release of the manifesto, which has become the focus of a legal challenge by the National Police Association.
The association's case for making the manifesto public is ongoing, and the documents have not surfaced in court proceedings.
Tennessee attorney Doug Pierce, representing the NPA, described the potential leak as significant but has not yet verified the documents. The extent of the shooter's writings is a bombshell, with over 20 journals attributed to Hale, indicating that the leaked pages might represent only a fraction of the content.
“I think it highlights the importance of getting the information out as soon as possible,” said Pierce in a statement to Fox News Digital. “What was requested would include more than just these three pages.”
An appeals court is currently deliberating whether Hale’s parents and the school can intervene in the lawsuit, with no definitive timeline for when the complete manifesto might be disclosed.
Mayor Freddie O'Connell announced the city's intent to investigate the release of the images, indicating collaboration with the police.
“I have directed Wally Dietz, Metro’s Law Director, to initiate an investigation into how these images could have been released,” he said. “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.”
The FBI, which previously analyzed copies of the journals, has refrained from commenting, citing the pending lawsuit.
Additional details from the police investigation revealed Hale's meticulous planning, including hand-drawn maps and diagrams of the school. Court documents indicate Hale had no prior criminal record in the local area.
Search warrants executed at Hale's residence led to the seizure of journals detailing other school shootings and various documents and electronic devices. A suicide note and a list of passwords were also found in the home.