(Nashville) The police revealed on Tuesday that the author of a massacre in a Christian school in Nashville had seven firearms and was being followed for psychiatric problems, a cocktail at the heart of many dramas in the United States.
The two assault rifles and the pistol that were used Monday to sow death within the Covenant School, a small private school located south of the capital of Tennessee, had been purchased legally, like the rest of its arsenal, Police Chief John Drake said.
Audrey Hale, who went to school there as a child, was shot dead by police after killing three 9-year-old students and three school employees, including the principal.
After describing him as a young woman, law enforcement clarified that he was a 28-year-old transgender person, who used male pronouns to describe himself on the internet.
The shooter was “under the care of a doctor for emotional problems” but was completely unknown to the police, who still have no motive, said John Drake.
The day before, he had mentioned a “targeted” attack against the Covenant School, detailed plans of which were found at the attacker’s home, and a possible “grudge” against this establishment which defends traditional religious values.
Clarifications may come from writings left by Audrey Hale. During a search of his home, the police did indeed find a document which they described as a “manifesto”.
Just before the action, the young shooter had also sent a message to an acquaintance to inform him that “something bad” was going to happen. “One day it will be clearer,” Audrey Hale wrote, according to local broadcaster WTVF. “I left enough evidence behind me. »
Audrey Hale broke into her old school by shooting through a glass door. CCTV footage shows a heavily armed figure advancing through the building.
Police released video of the intervention on Tuesday that ended the carnage. Filmed by the body cameras of two agents, the images show the police advancing in the corridors decorated with children’s drawings and shooting several times at Audrey Hale, who collapses.
He was pronounced dead at 10:27 a.m. Police said he had a large stockpile of ammunition and was “prepared to do more harm.”
In Nashville, the population was in shock. “It’s unimaginable to think that these beautiful children will never come home or celebrate their birthdays again,” Lisbeth Melgar whispered Tuesday night, gently tucking a lock of her daughter Alessandra’s hair, 11, behind her ear.
“We are heartbroken,” the family of one young victim, Evelyn Dieckhaus, said in a statement, “a ray of sunshine.”
The political class shared this emotion but was again divided on the regulation of firearms: Democratic President Joe Biden renewed his call to ban assault rifles, an option that Republican elected officials vigorously reject.
In the absence of better supervision, it is up to schools to review their security protocols.
On Tuesday, Alessandra’s had just drastically changed hers, and you had to wait to access the establishment.
But “it’s not up to the schools to fend for themselves when it comes to safety,” said Nina Dyson, a mother of four, on Tuesday during a small demonstration in Nashville in favor of greater control of the carrying of weapons.
“Parents across the country have been demanding change for decades and there has been none,” she said at the planned rally ahead of the killings.
About 400 million firearms are in circulation in the United States, where in 2020 they caused more than 45,000 deaths by suicide, accident or homicide, according to the most recent figures from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention ( CDC).
For the first time that year, guns became the leading cause of death among young people under the age of 19, with 4,368 deaths, ahead of car accidents and overdoses, according to the CDC.
Despite everything, a majority of Americans remain very attached to carrying a weapon, in the name of the right to self-defense, and several voices have been raised to regret that there were no armed employees in the school.