- The Washington Times - Wednesday, March 29, 2023

Audrey Hale reached out to a former middle school basketball teammate moments before she murdered six people Monday at a Christian school in Nashville, Tennessee.

Averianna Patton told local CBS affiliate WTVF she received an Instagram message from Hale just before 10 a.m. — about 15 minutes before the shooting began at The Covenant School.

Hale wrote Ms. Patton, “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!!!!”

She added that Ms. Patton likely would hear about Hale on the news after her death.  

“This is my last goodbye,” Hale wrote. “I love you. See you again in another life.” 

Hale, a biological woman who identified as a man, signed the message as Audrey, adding her preferred name, Aiden. 

Ms. Patton tried to negotiate with Hale, unaware that she was about to kill six people. 

Audrey! You have so much more life to live,” Ms. Patton wrote. “I pray God keeps and covers you.”

The shooter 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.”

Hale said she reached out to Ms. Patton because she’s “the most beautiful person I’ve seen and known all my life.” She then said her family “doesn’t know what I’m about to do.”

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

Hale then shot and killed three 9-year-old children and three adult staffers at the school. She was killed by police at the scene.

“Spiritually it’s eating me,” Ms. Patton told WTVF. “It’s eating me alive right now because I’m trying to make God help me wrap my mind around what, what is this God.”

Ms. Patton said she tried to contact the Suicide Prevention Help Line for Hale since she knew the shooter was suicidal before. 

She also called the Nashville Davidson County Sheriff’s Office, which directed her to the department’s nonemergency line. At that point, the slaughter had taken place.

• Matt Delaney can be reached at mdelaney@washingtontimes.com.

Copyright © 2023 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.

Please read our comment policy before commenting.

Click to Read More and View Comments

Click to Hide