‘This Country Needs Revival’: Transgender Activist Kills 6 at Christian School in Nashville
A woman who identifies as a transgender man murdered six people inside a Christian school in Nashville Monday morning before police killed her — an assault that a U.S. congressman attributed to potentially “some sort of demonic possession.” The United States “needs revival,” he said, before such targeted shootings become a heartbreaking new normal.
Around 10:13 a.m., a 28-year-old named Audrey Elizabeth Hale shot open a side door and opened fire inside Covenant School, a ministry of Covenant Presbyterian Church, which educates children from preschool through the sixth grade. Hale killed six people — three students and three employees — before two members of the police response stopped her 14 minutes later at 10:27 a.m.
Hale had a detailed attack plan, complete with maps of the school and a written explanation, law enforcement officials revealed.
“We have a manifesto,” Metro Nashville Police Department Chief John Drake told reporters at the Monday afternoon press conference. “We have some writings that we’re going over that pertain to this day.”
Hale once attended the Christian school in the affluent Green Hills neighborhood and still lived in Nashville, the officer stated. Sources said Hale initially intended to target a different location but settled on the school due to its weaker security standards.
Drake announced that Hale claimed the lives of students Evelyn Dieckhaus, William Kinney, and Hallie Scruggs, who were all nine years old; as well as Head of School Katherine Koonce, 60; substitute teacher Cynthia Peak, 61; and custodian Mike Hill, 61.
“Obviously, it’s a mental health issue, and it’s just a complete and total tragedy,” Rep. Tim Burchett (R-Tenn.) told Family Research Council President Tony Perkins on "Washington Watch" Monday afternoon.
“I honestly feel like this is some sort of demonic possession that has gotten into our world today. And it’s become accepted,” he continued. Burchett added that the Biden “White House has two men who wear dresses,” apparently referencing HHS Assistant Secretary Rachel Levine and Sam Brinton, who oversaw spent nuclear fuel until he “was fired, because he was stealing dresses at the airport.”
“This country needs this revival, Tony,” Burchett told Perkins. “All the laws and all the politicians pontificating back and forth are not going to solve it. Until we have a revival in this country, I’m afraid this is going to be more the norm than the exception.”
Perkins said the shooting shows that Christian school students are “not beyond the reach of” the “corrupting and chaotic influence of [U.S.] culture.”
Hale’s former classmate at the Nossi College of Art and Design confirmed that the shooter identified as male, using the name “Aiden Hale.” Reporters pressed Drake for additional details about what role Hale’s transgender identity played in the mass murder inside a church-run school.
“Do you have any reason to believe that how she identifies has any motive for targeting the school?" asked one journalist.
“We can give you that at a later time. There is some theory to that,” Drake answered.
“So was this a targeted attack?” another reporter followed up.
“It was,” he replied.
As of this writing, police have not officially announced what role the shooter’s gender identity played in the shooting.
“Who radicalized the Nashville shooter? What media outlets, pundits and politicians share and spread the murderer’s ideology?” asked Glenn Greenwald, a progressive author who identifies as homosexual. “This is the twisted game that’s played every time there’s a massacre that presents the opportunity to blame one’s enemies. It can’t be done selectively.”
An LGBT activist attacked Family Research Council’s headquarters, the sponsor of The Washington Stand, in August 2012 after the Southern Poverty Law Center branded FRC as a “hate group.” FRC Building Manager Leo Johnson took a bullet while stopping the SPLC-inspired shooter, Floyd Lee Corkins, who entered a guilty plea to charges of domestic terrorism the following September.
President Joe Biden earned criticism for opening a prescheduled press conference shortly after the tragedy with a litany of his canned jokes. “My name is Joe Biden. I’m Dr. Jill Biden’s husband. I like ice cream — chocolate chip,” he told the crowd. “I came down because I heard there was chocolate chip ice cream. By the way I have a full refrigerator, full, upstairs.”
Biden went on to describe the school shooting as “a parent’s worst nightmare” and to call for an “assault weapons” ban, similar to the one he authored in 1994. Other prominent Democrats promoting gun control legislation in the tragedy’s wake included Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), Rep. Eric Swalwell (D-Calif.), and Rep. Tina Smith (D-Minn.). A local anti-gun activist commandeered the microphone at the Nashville police officer’s press briefing to demand further restrictions on the Second Amendment.
Hale reportedly carried out the shooting with two rifles and a handgun before losing her own life.
“How much hormones like testosterone and medications for mental illness was the transgender Nashville school shooter taking?” asked Rep. Marjorie Taylor Green (R-Ga.). “Everyone can stop blaming guns now.”
But Christians should look beyond issues of gun distribution and police response time, to the deep recesses of the heart, said Perkins. “We need God in America again,” he concluded. “And this is further evidence that, as we’ve moved from His truth and from His ways, we suffer the consequences.”
Ben Johnson is senior reporter and editor at The Washington Stand.