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Police officers placed on leave as trans shooter ‘manifesto’ leaked

Notes detailing the meticulous planning of Audrey Hale’s massacre were leaked online this week by the podcast host Steven Crowder

Seven police officers in the US city of Nashville, Tennessee have been placed on administrative leave while an investigation is undertaken to determine how pages from a ‘manifesto’ written by the transgender school shooter Audrey Hale were leaked online, local authorities have confirmed.

The 28-year-old Hale fatally shot three nine-year-old children and three teachers in a 14-minute-long rampage before being gunned down by police at Nashville’s Covenant School in March. On Monday, three pages of notes written by Hale which detailed the planning of the shooting were published online by the podcast host Steven Crowder, who claimed that his staff had obtained them from a detective working on the case.

The Metropolitan Nashville Police Department (MNPD) confirmed to local media outlet WSMV on Wednesday that an inquiry had begun and that “seven individuals are on administrative assignment to protect the integrity of the active, progressing investigation.”

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Among the elements of the documents leaked online were passages containing Hale’s desire to “have a high death count” and to target victims with “white privilege.” It also detailed the shooter’s specific timeline for the day, including spending time with stuffed animals, testing a knife to ensure its durability and a reminder to “pack special belongings in backpacks.” 

“I’m ready,” another note says. “I hope my victims aren’t.” The writings are authentic, FOX 17 said this week, citing discussions with police sources. Hale, a former pupil at the Covenant School, identified as a transgender male.

MNPD spokesperson Don Aaron added to the WSMV report that the measures taken against the seven police officers was “absolutely not punitive” and said that they will retain their full police powers while the probe is underway.

Freddie O’Connell, who was elected as Nashville’s new mayor in September, called on Tennessee’s top attorney to launch the investigation into what he said was the “concerning” leak of the documents.

Before the leak, the question as to whether Hale’s so-called manifesto should be released to the public had been the subject of significant debate, with the MNPD refusing to release it, citing ongoing investigations. The Tennessee Firearms Association and the National Police Association had sued to make the document public, while the school and victims’ parents sought to block its release.

 

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