Nashville Shooter Legally Bought 7 Guns Despite Being Treated for 'Emotional Disorder,' Hid Them from Parents

The shooter responsible for killing six people at a Nashville private school lawfully purchased multiple guns and hid them at home, say police

The Covenant School shooting
Shooting at Covenant School in Nashville, USA . Photo: HAMILTON MATTHEW MASTERS/EPA-EFE/Shutterstock

The shooter who killed six people at a Nashville private school lawfully purchased multiple guns and hid them at home, according to police.

During a press conference Tuesday, Metro Nashville Police Chief John Drake said Audrey Hale "bought seven firearms from five different local gun stores here, legally."

Three of the guns were used in Monday morning's mass shooting at The Covenant School, which left three 9-year-olds and three school staff members dead.

The shooter, 28, gained access through a side door and stormed the school with two "assault-type rifles" and one pistol, but was killed in a shootout with responding police officers 14 minutes after the initial 911 call was placed, police previously stated.

According to Drake, the assailant's parents were unaware there were seven guns in the home and believed at one point there was only one weapon, which they thought was later sold.

The parents also told police they felt the shooter "should not own weapons."

At the time, Drake said the assailant was under "doctor's care for an emotional disorder," though he could not elaborate.

Speaking with NBC News, the police chief speculated that feelings of "resentment" may have motivated the shooter to go on a killing spree at the private Christian school the assailant once attended.

"There's some belief that there was some resentment for having to go to that school," Drake said.

While the school was specifically targeted, it's believed the victims, identified as Evelyn Dieckhaus, 9, Hallie Scruggs, 9, William Kinney, 9, Cynthia Peak, 61, Katherine Koonce, 60, and Mike Hill, 61, were not targeted as individuals, said police.

The Covenant School shooting
Nashville school shooting. John Amis/AP/Shutterstock

What Drake described as a "manifesto" was recovered from the shooter's home. It revealed the attack was "calculated and planned," a Monday news release reads. The release adds there were diagrams "drawn of the school in detail" that appeared to include entry and exit points and surveillance.

"We have some writings that we're going over that pertain to this day, the actual incident," Drake said at a news conference, per NBC News. "We have a map drawn out of how this was all going to take place."

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Police said there were indications the shooter planned to target other locations, as well.

"It [the manifesto] indicates that there was going to be shootings at multiple locations, and the school was one of them," Drake said, per the outlet.

In a statement obtained by PEOPLE, The Covenant School said, "We are grieving tremendous loss and are in shock coming out of the terror that shattered our school and church. We are focused on loving our students, our families, our faculty and staff, and beginning the process of healing."

How to help

You can donate to the families of the victims through the The Community Foundation of Middle Tennessee. ViVE and VictimsFirst have also created GoFundMe pages for donations. Both fundraisers are verified.

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