NATIONAL NEWS

Amid fight over Covenant school shooting records, medical examiner releases autopsy report

Jun 12, 2023, 5:06 PM | Updated: 8:26 pm

An entrance to The Covenant School is seen Wednesday, May 24, 2023, in Nashville, Tenn. The school ...

An entrance to The Covenant School is seen Wednesday, May 24, 2023, in Nashville, Tenn. The school is the site where a deadly shooting in March took the lives of three 9-year-olds and three adults. (AP Photo/George Walker IV)
Credit: ASSOCIATED PRESS

(AP Photo/George Walker IV)

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — The former student who shot through the doors of a Nashville Christian elementary school in March and killed three children and three adults died from gunshot wounds to the head, torso and other parts of the body, an autopsy report released Monday showed.

The autopsy said the manner of death of 28-year-old Audrey Hale was homicide. The report — released by the medical examiner in Davidson County, which encompasses Nashville — said Hale not only had gunshot wounds but also blunt force trauma throughout the body.

Hale opened fire at the Covenant School on March 27 before being shot to death by officers.

The release of the report comes as a growing collection of groups are embroiled in a complex legal battle over the release of Hale’s writings and other documents in the police investigation. The Tennessean newspaper, a state senator, a law enforcement nonprofit and a gun-rights organization are advocating for the release in the records.

Meanwhile, a group of Covenant School parents, the Covenant School and Covenant Presbyterian Church have been allowed to intervene to fight against the publication of the documents.

On Monday, a Nashville judge declined to pause the court proceedings so that those seeking the records could wait on their appeal of a decision allowing the Covenant School parents to intervene in the case.

Chancery Court Judge I’Ashea Myles stated that the Legislature intended for public records cases to be expedited and they are not supposed to take as long as other legal battles. She said that hitting pause on the case now would undermine that intent.

Myle’s decision comes just days after Nashville attorney David Raybin, who is representing Hale’s parents, informed the judge that he was helping transfer ownership of the writings to the Covenant parents from Hales’ parents. Supporters hope that the transfer of ownership will strengthen the argument that the Covenant parents have standing to intervene and stop the release of Hale’s writings.

It is thought that the writings might reveal a motive for the attack.

According to the autopsy report, Hale was wearing a white shirt with “handwritten words, drawings and numbers written on it.” The report did not detail what the writings said, but noted handwritten words were also found on Hale’s bra.

Law enforcement has said Hale was transgender and also went by “Aiden.” The autopsy report said Hale was carrying a red pocket knife with name “AIDEN” monogrammed on it.

Police have said Hale planned the massacre for months. Hale, who fired 152 rounds during the attack, was under a doctor’s care for an undisclosed “emotional disorder,” police said. However, authorities haven’t disclosed a link between that care and the shooting.

Killed in the attack were Evelyn Dieckhaus, Hallie Scruggs and William Kinney, all 9 years old. The three adults killed were Katherine Koonce, 60, the head of the school, and custodian Mike Hill and substitute teacher Cynthia Peak, who were 61. ___

This story has been corrected to show that the judge’s surname is Myles, not Myle.

National News

Associated Press

FACT FOCUS: A look at claims made at the Republican National Convention as Trump accepts nomination

As former President Donald Trump accepted the Republican presidential nomination on Thursday he laid out his vision for running the country. He painted a dire picture of the state of the U.S. and outlined a range of actions he planned to take. But his comments were marked with a myriad of false and misleading information […]

4 hours ago

Dr. Max Rogers, the obstetrician-gynecologist at Grove Hill Memorial Hospital, poses for a photo Mo...

Associated Press

Alabama birthing units are closing to save money and get funding. Some say babies are at risk

GROVE HILL, Ala. (AP) — One of the last remaining birthing units in southern Alabama will close next month to qualify for federal funding that will save the hospital’s emergency services, but doctors warn the move may cost newborns and pregnant women essential access to obstetric care. Nestled in rural Clarke County, the small, nonprofit […]

5 hours ago

Jim, left, and Tamara Hamilton watch former President Donald Trump speak on television on Thursday,...

Associated Press

Some GOP voters welcome Trump’s somewhat softened tone at Republican National Convention

For those conservative voters long turned off by former President Donald Trump’s rhetoric, his somewhat softened tone in accepting the Republican nomination Thursday night was a welcome relief. “He’s much improved,” Dave Struthers, a 57-year-old farmer from Collins, Iowa, said as he watched Trump’s speech in the basement of his farmhouse. “The thing I’ve had […]

5 hours ago

FILE - Former President Barack Obama speaks in Athens, Greece, June 21, 2023. Democrats at the high...

Associated Press

Obama’s dilemma: Balancing Democrats’ worry about Biden and maintaining influence with president

WASHINGTON (AP) — Former President Barack Obama has a delicate balance to strike: how to weigh the mounting opposition to President Joe Biden continuing his campaign with his loyalty to his former running mate. In recent days, Obama has taken calls from congressional leaders, Democratic governors and key donors in which he has shared their […]

5 hours ago

Vice President Kamala Harris arrives for an Asian and Pacific Islander American Vote Town Hall, Sat...

Associated Press

Majority of Democrats think Kamala Harris would make a good president, AP-NORC poll shows

WASHINGTON (AP) — As President Joe Biden faces a growing drumbeat of pressure to drop his reelection bid, a majority of Democrats think his vice president would make a good president herself. A new poll from the AP-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research found that about 6 in 10 Democrats believe Kamala Harris would do […]

6 hours ago

Associated Press

How bootcamps are helping to address the historic gap in internet access on US tribal lands

There’s a home movie theater with orange walls and plush recliners at the top of a steep hill on Matthew Rantanen’s ranch in Southern California. But on a recent afternoon, people weren’t flocking to the room to watch a movie or to escape the scorching heat, they were shining a beam of light through more […]

6 hours ago

Amid fight over Covenant school shooting records, medical examiner releases autopsy report