(LifeSiteNews) — Nashville police issued a public response after the release of three allegedly leaked pages of the handwritten “manifesto” purportedly written by the trans-identifying shooter who murdered six people at a Christian elementary school this year.
Conservative comedian and podcaster Steven Crowder on Monday morning published images of three handwritten notebook pages that he said were from the manifesto of Audrey Hale, the 28-year-old transgender-identifying shooter who killed three children and three adults at The Covenant School in Nashville, Tenn., in March. Hale was fatally shot by police at the scene.
The Metropolitan Nashville Police Department said in a Monday afternoon statement they were investigating the dissemination of the documents that were “not MNPD crime scene images.”
“The MNPD is in communication with the Metropolitan Department of Law as an investigation, begun this morning, continues into the dissemination of three photographs of writings during an on-line discussion about Covenant School,” the department said. “The photographs are not MNPD crime scene images.”
“The police department has been in contact with a representative of Covenant families,” the statement continued. “Police department counselors are available to assist them in coping with the emotional trauma caused by the dissemination.”
Daily Signal journalist Mary Margaret Olohan stated Monday on Twitter/X that a spokeswoman for the Nashville PD said “writings from the shooter are part of ‘ongoing legal action’ and therefore, the department cannot say whether Crowder’s documents are from Hale’s manifesto.”
The comment from the department came after Nashville Mayor Freddie O’Connell said in a statement that the city was investigating “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,” O’Connell said.
In the photos of the manifesto pages released by Crowder, Hale expressed left-wing racial and class animosity, referring to her white victims as “crackers” and expressing disgust for children who went “to fancy private schools with those fancy khakis + sports backpacks w/ their daddies mustangs + convertibles.” She also said that she was “ready to die” and that she hoped she would accumulate a “high death count” in her rampage.
“Can’t believe I’m doing this, but I’m ready,” she wrote. “I hope my victims aren’t.”
Hale murdered three nine-year-old children and three school staff members in their sixties in her violent attack, LifeSiteNews previously reported. The children were identified as Evelyn Dieckhaus, William Kinney, and Hallie Scruggs, the youngest daughter of Chad Scruggs, senior pastor at Nashville’s Covenant Presbyterian Church. School custodian Mike Hill, 61, substitute teacher Cynthia Peak, 61, and head of school Katherine Koonce, 60, were also slain.
Before responding to the leaked pages on Monday, Nashville police have refused to release the manifesto despite having obtained access to it in March and despite the fact that Nashville police suggested shortly after the attack there was reason to believe that the killer’s reported transgender identity played a role in her decision to target the Christian school.
— Steven Crowder (@scrowder) November 7, 2023
On April 3, the Metropolitan Nashville Police Department released an update on its investigation into the shooting without releasing any of the documents to the public.
“In the collective writings by Hale found in her vehicle in the school parking lot, and others later found in the bedroom of her home, she documented, in journals, her planning over a period of months to commit mass murder at The Covenant School,” the department said.
The police said at the time that Hale’s motive had “not been established,” but that Hale did “conside[r] the actions of other mass murderers.”
Later that month, Nashville police chief John Drake said the manifesto would be released to the public in short order, but the department never actually released the documents, the Daily Wire noted.
The department has subsequently been hit with several lawsuits by organizations and news outlets calling for the public release of the document.
“It’s not up to the police or government officials to decide whether a shooter’s writings are relevant to the public,” Daily Wire podcaster Matt Walsh said Monday ahead of the department’s statement.
“When children are massacred, the community has the right to know exactly what happened and why,” Walsh said.