Three 9-year-old children and three adults were killed Monday in a mass shooting at the Covenant School in Nashville, Tennessee.
The alleged shooter, identified by police as 28-year-old Nashville resident Audrey Elizabeth Hale, entered the school just after 10 a.m. and walked the hall for several minutes, shooting a custodian, a substitute teacher and the school’s top administration along with three students.
Hale was confronted and killed by officers minutes later on the second floor of the building.
While what is known about Hale’s motive has not yet been released, the shooter did text a classmate from middle school to tell her that she planned to end her life.
Here is the timeline of what took place on Monday, according to law enforcement officers and media accounts. All times are local.
9:57 a.m.: Hale sends a message to Averianna Patton, who was a teammate on a middle school basketball squad. According to Patton, she had not kept up contact with Hale for many years.
This is the message Patton received and her response:
Hale wrote: So basically that post I made on here about you, that was basically a suicide note.
I’m planning to die today.
THIS IS NOT A JOKE!!!!
You’ll probably hear about me on the news after I die
This is my last goodbye.
I love you
See you again in another life
Patton answered: Audrey! You have so much more life to live. I pray God keeps and covers you.
Hale responded: “I know but I don’t want to live. I’m so sorry. I’m not trying to upset you or get attention. I just need to die
“I wanted to tell you first because you are the most beautiful person I’ve ever seen and known all my life.
“One day this will make more sense. I’ve left behind more than enough evidence behind. But something bad is about to happen.”
10:08 a.m.: After receiving the message Patton calls her father and asks for advice. He suggests she call the Suicide Prevention Help Line to try to get help.
“Audrey has shared with others that she had been suicidal in the past and I knew to take this serious,” Patton said.
10:10 a.m.: Hale is seen coming up the driveway to the school in a silver Honda Fit. Hale parks the car, walks up to a side door at the building and shoots through the glass double doors.
Hale, dressed in combat pants, a vest and a red baseball cap, is seen walking the corridors on a video captured by the school and released by police late Monday.
10:13 a.m.: Police receive the first 911 call that an armed person is inside of the school
10:14 a.m.: Patton calls the Nashville Davidson County Sheriff’s Office to report the Instagram messages she received from Hale, but is told to contact the city’s non-emergency number.
Patton calls the number and is put on hold for seven minutes.
10:21 a.m.: Patton is told an officer will be sent to her house.
10:27 a.m.: By this time, Hale has shot six people and fired on a patrol car in the school’s parking lot.
Officers who responded to the call of an active shooter are in the building and have cleared the first floor as they hear shooting on the second floor. They move up the stairs where they encounter Hale and fatally shoot the gunman.
Between 10:30 a.m. and 11 a.m.: Parents are notified of the shooting. They are instructed to gather at Woodmont Baptist Church, which is close to Covenant school, to be reunited with their children.
About 11 a.m.: Those shot at the school began arriving at Vanderbilt University Medical Center. Five of the seven who died at the school are transported to VUMC: three children to the Children’s Emergency Center and two adults to the Adult Emergency Center. All were later pronounced dead.
Noon: Children from the school begin to arrive at Woodmont Baptist and are reunited with their parents.
2:55 p.m.: President Joe Biden calls the attack “heartbreaking,” and asks members of Congress to pass an assault weapons ban.
3:29 p.m.: An officer arrives at Patton’s home in response to the call she made about Hale at 10:21 a.m.
4 p.m.: All families gathered at Woodmont Baptist Church were reunited with their children.