UNITED STATES

Suicide note, weapons found in Nashville shooter’s home, warrant shows

Apr 5, 2023, 6:00 AM | Updated: 1:23 pm

Investigators found a suicide note when they executed a search warrant at the home of the shooter w...

Metro Nashville Police and FBI search and investigate a house in the 3000 block of Brightwood Ave. following a mass shooting at Covenant School, Monday, March 27, 2023, in Nashville, Tenn. The shooter was killed by police on the scene. (Andrew Nelles/The Tennessean via AP)

(Andrew Nelles/The Tennessean via AP)

 (CNN) — Investigators found a suicide note when they executed a search warrant at the home of the shooter who killed six people at a Nashville school last week, along with more weapons and ammunition, according to an inventory of items seized.

The search warrant and the list of items found were released Tuesday, just over a week after the shooter, former student Audrey Hale, opened fire at The Covenant School, killing three 9-year-olds and three adults.

The warrant, executed the same day as the shooting, shows authorities also found several Covenant School yearbooks and a school photo, in addition to the shooter’s journals. Some of the journals are described as being related to “school shootings; firearm courses,” the list indicates.

A total of 47 items were seized, according to the list.

Hale, 28, fired 152 rounds in the attack, which was planned “over a period of months,” police said in a news release Monday. Hale “considered the actions of other mass murderers,” that release said, and “acted totally alone.”

Hale, who police said was under care for an emotional disorder, had legally purchased seven guns and hidden them at home, Metropolitan Nashville Police Chief John Drake previously said.

Hale was armed with three guns during the attack, which ended after Nashville officers arrived on the scene and confronted the shooter.

Two officers opened fire — a moment captured in bodycam footage later released by police — and killed Hale at 10:27 a.m., 14 minutes after the shooter entered the private Christian school, according to Nashville police spokesperson Don Aaron.

Police continue to work to determine a motive for the attack, but they said previously that writings left behind by Hale — which continue to be reviewed by police and the FBI — made clear it was “calculated and planned.”

Hale targeted the school and Covenant Presbyterian Church, to which the school is attached, police said, but it’s believed the victims were fired upon at random.

Those victims were Evelyn Dieckhaus, William Kinney and Hallie Scruggs, all 9 years old, as well as school custodian Mike Hill, 61, substitute teacher Cynthia Peak, 61, and Katherine Koonce, 60, who was head of the school.

Officers came together to form team that tracked down shooter

Four police officers who responded to the shooting described to reporters Tuesday how their training guided them as they hunted the shooter.

Officer Rex Engelbert praised two staff members “who stayed on the scene and didn’t run.” They gave him the concise information he needed, as well as “the exact key I needed to enter the building,” he said.

Engelbert and Detective Sgt. Jeff Mathes became part of a team that cleared classrooms and searched for the shooter. When they reached the first-floor atrium they took gunfire from the shooter.

“We were still unsure where that was, but our job is to go towards it, so we went through a pair of double doors,” Mathes said.

Detective Michael Collazo, who heard the shooter might be on the second floor, joined the group.

“At some point around that time frame is when we started hearing the first shots … that’s when everything kind of kicked into overdrive for us, “Collazo said.

After they went up a stairwell and down a second-floor hallway, they encountered a victim on the floor.

“Doing what our training tells us to do in those situations and following the stimulus, all of us stepped over a victim. To this day, don’t know how I did that morally, but training is what kicked in,” Mathes said.

Smoke was filling the building and the fire alarm was blaring, Collazo said. Then there was a gunshot to their right.

He asked Engelbert, who had a scope on his rifle, to lead the team toward the gunshot. Engelbert said things were unfolding “very similar to the training we receive.”

“We then proceeded continually towards the sounds of gunfire and then once we got near the shooter, the shooter was neutralized,” Mathes said.

State reps face expulsion after Capitol protest

The school shooting — the deadliest since 21 people, including 19 children, were killed at a school in Uvalde, Texas, last May — renewed debate over the scourge of American gun violence, access to firearms and school safety, a fight that spilled over into the state legislature this week.

Tennessee House Republicans on Monday took steps toward expelling three Democratic state representatives who participated in protests at the state Capitol last Thursday calling for more gun control in the wake of the deadly mass shooting.

A vote on whether to expel the three members — Reps. Gloria Johnson of Knoxville, Justin Jones of Nashville and Justin Pearson of Memphis — is slated for Thursday, according to The Tennessean.

If you or anyone you know is struggling with thoughts of suicide, contact the National Suicide Prevention Hotline (1-800-273-TALK) or the Huntsman Mental Health Institute (1-801-583-2500).

We want to hear from you.

Have a story idea or tip? Send it to the KSL NewsRadio team here.

United States

FILE: Seen from an aerial view, people pass through razor wire after crossing the U.S.-Mexico borde...

ACACIA CORONADO

Judge blocks Texas law allowing police power to arrest illegal migrants

The ruling is a victory for the Justice Department. It argued that the law signed by Republican Gov. Greg Abbott last year was unconstitutional.

2 days ago

president biden shown, he and former president trump are visiting the border in texas...

SEUNG MIN KIM, JILL COLVIN and COLLEEN LONG Associated Press

Biden and Trump touch down in Texas, highlighting immigration as a major election issue

President Joe Biden and former President Donald Trump arrived Thursday in Texas, for dueling trips to the U.S.-Mexico border in a sign of how central immigration has become to the 2024 election

2 days ago

texas wildfires...

Associated Press

Wildfire grows into one of largest in Texas history as flames menace multiple small towns

Known as the Smokehouse Creek Fire, the largest blaze expanded to more than 1,300 square miles and jumped into parts of neighboring Oklahoma.

2 days ago

execution chamber in idaho prison...

Associated Press

Idaho halts execution by lethal injection after 8 failed attempts to insert IV line

Thomas Eugene Creech Creech, one of the longest-serving death row inmates in the U.S., was wheeled into the execution chamber at the Idaho Maximum Security Institution on a gurney at 10 a.m.

3 days ago

DEARBORN, MICHIGAN - FEBRUARY 27: A sign for Republican presidential candidate former President Don...

Marshall Cohen, CNN

Illinois judge removes Trump from ballot, cites ‘insurrectionist ban’

Wednesday’s unexpected decision comes as a similar challenge from Colorado is pending before the U.S. Supreme Court.

3 days ago

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) talks to reporters following the weekly Senate Republ...

MICHAEL TACKETT Associated Press

McConnell to step down as Senate Republican leader in November

In a copy of his prepared remarks, McConnell stressed the importance of knowing when to move on. "to life's next chapter."

3 days ago

Sponsored Articles

Mother and cute toddler child in a little fancy wooden cottage, reading a book, drinking tea and en...

Visit Bear Lake

How to find the best winter lodging in Bear Lake, Utah

Winter lodging in Bear Lake can be more limited than in the summer, but with some careful planning you can easily book your next winter trip.

Happy family in winter clothing at the ski resort, winter time, watching at mountains in front of t...

Visit Bear Lake

Ski more for less: Affordable ski resorts near Bear Lake, Utah

Plan your perfect ski getaway in Bear Lake this winter, with pristine slopes, affordable tickets, and breathtaking scenery.

front of the Butch Cassidy museum with a man in a cowboy hat standing in the doorway...

Bear Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau

Looking Back: The History of Bear Lake

The history of Bear Lake is full of fascinating stories. At over 250,000 years old, the lake has seen generations of people visit its shores.

silhouette of a family looking over a lake with a bird in the top corner flying...

Bear Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau

8 Fun Activities To Do in Bear Lake Without Getting in the Water

Bear Lake offers plenty of activities for the whole family to enjoy without having to get in the water. Catch 8 of our favorite activities.

Wellsville Mountains in the spring with a pond in the foreground...

Wasatch Property Management

Advantages of Renting Over Owning a Home

Renting allows you to enjoy luxury amenities and low maintenance without the long-term commitment and responsibilities of owning a home.

Clouds over a red rock vista in Hurricane, Utah...

Wasatch Property Management

Why Southern Utah is a Retirement Paradise

Retirement in southern Utah offers plenty of cultural and recreational opportunities. Find out all that this region has to offer.

Suicide note, weapons found in Nashville shooter’s home, warrant shows