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Woman received messages from shooter ahead of Nashville school rampage

A former teammate received Instagram messages from the shooter on the morning of the attack that left six people at The Covenant School dead.
Blurred messages from the alleged Nashville school shooter.
Posted at 10:58 AM, Mar 28, 2023

At 9:57 a.m., a former middle school basketball teammate of Audrey Hale looked at her phone to find a message from The Covenant School shooter on Instagram.

Averianna Patton said she saw the message that Hale planned to die by suicide and that Patton would see it on the news. In the messages Patton provided to Scripps News Nashville, Hale told Patton she would see her again in another life. Hale told Patton about no longer wanting to live and the need to die.

"One day this will make more sense," Hale wrote. "I've left behind more than enough evidence behind. But something bad is about to happen."

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Three students and three staff members died in the shooting at The Covenant School, a private Christian School in Nashville, Tennessee.

Hale said family had no idea what was about to happen.

"I tried to comfort and encourage her and subsequently reached out to the Suicide Prevention Help Line after being instructed to by my father at 10:08 am," Patton said to Scripps News Nashville. "Audrey has shared with others that she had been suicidal in the past and I knew to take this serious." 

WTVF

Patton said she called the Nashville Davidson County Sheriff's Office at 10:13 a.m. to make them aware of the situation and was instructed to call Nashville's non-emergency number.

"I called Nashville's non-emergency line at 10:14 a.m. and was on hold for nearly seven minutes before speaking with someone who said that they would send an officer to my home. An officer did not come to my home until 3:29 p.m.," Patton said.

Patton said she wanted to come forward about this circumstance because she believed there should have been more urgency when she reached out to officials for help.

"After phone calls from friends and Audrey's name was released as the shooter at Covenant Nashville school, I learned that Audrey was the shooter and that she had reached out to me prior to the shooting," Patton said. "My heart is with all of the families affected and I'm devastated by what has happened."

If you need to talk to someone, call the Suicide and Crisis Lifeline by dialing 988 or text "HOME" to the Crisis Text Line at 741741. 

This story was originally published by Emily West and Kelsey Gibbs at Scripps News Nashville.

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