Nashville police release 911 calls from Monday’s school shooting

by Chris Lange

Chris Lange, FISM News

Nashville, Tennessee authorities have released the 911 calls from Monday’s Covenant Christian School mass shooting. The recordings offer a disturbing glimpse into the chaos and terror killer Audrey Hale unleashed on a private Christian elementary school in a 14-minute killing spree.

Hale, 28, entered the school around 9:54 a.m. Monday where she gained entry by shooting through the glass entry door of the campus’s church, killing a custodian in the process. Hale then made her way to the second floor of the building and began firing at random, killing three nine-year-old children and two more adults, including the head of the school. She was shot and killed by police officers 14 minutes after the initial 911 call.


“All I saw was a man holding an assault rifle shooting through the door,” a male caller said as he led children away from the school, per The Associated Press.

“It was — he’s currently in the second-grade hallway, upstairs,” a second man said. “White man. With camouflage. He had a vest on and an assault rifle.” Hale is a trans-identified biological female.

A female caller said: “I heard about 10 and I left the building,” when asked how many shots were fired.

Another female who identified herself as a teacher placed a call just before 10:13 a.m., telling the dispatcher she was hiding in an art room closet. 

“It sounds like somebody is shooting guns,” she said, then noted a lull in the gunshots. In a heartbreaking moment, the sounds of children whispering and crying could be heard by dispatchers in the background of the call. Moments later, the teacher said: “I’m hearing more shots. Please hurry.”

Another call was placed by a man on the second floor where Hale opened fire.

“I think we have a shooter at our church,” he said. “I’m on the second floor in a room. I think the shooter is on the second floor.”

Nashville Metro Police Chief John Drake said Thursday that investigators are still working to discover a motive for the attack. He said earlier this week that Hale appeared to have a “sense of resentment” toward the school, which she reportedly attended, briefly, as a child. 

Following the shooting, officers searched the home of Hale’s parents, with whom she lived. There they recovered seven firearms stashed throughout the home, detailed maps of the school, and a manifesto that has yet to be released.


Many believe that Hale purposely targeted Christians, with some suggesting that she had been radicalized by the transgender movement.

Fox News reported that the Trans Resistance Network, a progressive transgender “collective,” appeared to try to justify the killing, saying that Hale chose to inflict terror and death on six innocent people because she felt “no other effective way to be seen.” 

Sen. Josh Hawley (R-Mo.) on Tuesday called on federal authorities to investigate the shooting as an anti-Christian hate crime, as reported by the New York Post.

In a letter to FBI Director Christopher Wray and Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas, Hawley called Hale’s rampage a “targeted” assault “against Christians.” He called for “the full resources of the federal government” to be deployed to determine her motive. 

“It is commonplace to call such horrors ‘senseless violence.’ But properly speaking, that is false,” Hawley wrote. “Police report that the attack here was ‘targeted’ — targeted, that is, against Christians.”

“I urge you to immediately open an investigation into this shooting as a federal hate crime. The full resources of the federal government must be brought to bear to determine how this crime occurred, and who may have influenced the deranged shooter to carry out these horrific crimes. Hate that leads to violence must be condemned. And hate crimes must be prosecuted,” the senator added. 

According to federal law, hate crimes are defined as acts of violence that result in physical harm to a person motivated by the victim’s race, color, religion, national origin, sexual orientation, gender, or gender identity.


Several conservative media outlets have openly questioned the FBI’s delay in releasing Hale’s manifesto, noting that such writings are typically made public with alacrity when it comes to mass shooter investigations. It has been suggested by some that Hale’s transgender status may be behind the uncharacteristic secrecy.

RedState journalist Bonchie noted that the Bureau’s delay in releasing the manifesto runs “contrary to how supposed right-wing shooters have been handled in the past.”

“When a shooter is a white supremacist, the manifesto is released. There’s never even a question about the motive,” Bonchie wrote. “This situation should be no different. If this transgender shooter was radicalized partially by political proclamations of ‘genocide’ and such, the public deserves to know that.”


While killer manifestos historically reveal or strongly point to a motive, U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland told a House Appropriations subcommittee Tuesday that it was too early in the investigative process to make a determination on what prompted Hale’s killing spree.

During his appearance before the panel, Garland was pressed by Sen. John Kennedy (R-La.) on whether federal officials would open up a hate crime investigation into the massacre.

“The FBI and ATF are both on the scene working with the local police,” Garland said. “As of now, motive hasn’t been identified, and the police chief said at his last press conference that they don’t yet have… a conclusion with respect to motive.

“We are certainly working full time with them to determine what the motive is, and of course, motive is what determines whether it’s a hate crime or not,” Garland added.

Local law enforcement officials in Nashville initially said that the manifesto would not be made public but have since clarified that it will be released pending FBI approval, per the New York Post.