NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – In a legal filing obtained by News 2, parents of students who attend The Covenant School urge the court to not release the shooter’s writings to the public. Though they do not object to the release of some documents and a summary of the events.
“This Court can shield Jane Doe and John Doe from a lifetime of abuse and harassment by the shooter from beyond the grave,” the attorneys for the parents say. “The Parents believe that the large tranche of documents they do not object to will provide the public with the information needed to understand this horrific crime.”
In the 18-page document, the parents explain they don’t want any of the shooter’s writings or documents to be released, nor do they want any photos or information of the children themselves released.
“There is no compelling state interest in giving voice to a horrendous criminal,” the parents’ attorneys wrote in the documents.
Anything related to the safety of the school or church, like plans, drawings, and security protocols, are also off limits at the parents’ request.
“We are in ‘uncharted waters’ because we have a unique opportunity following a mass murder at an elementary school to prevent the shooter’s writings and anything else that is likely to inspire future attacks from being released and causing pain and suffering to the victims,” the lawyers write.
The parents said while they don’t know if these documents exist, they do want the court to be cautious about releasing information about what websites the shooter visited or files the shooter downloaded.
However, according to the documents, the parents are okay with releasing some police reports and summaries, saying a police summary of the shooter’s motives would be a good way to inform the public without giving the shooter a voice.
This also makes sure that “law enforcement agencies, scholars, and the public will have sufficient information to learn from this attack in the hope of preventing another incident of this nature.”
The next court date in this case is scheduled for Thursday, June 8.
On March 27, six people, including three children, were shot and killed by 28-year-old Audrey Hale at The Covenant School in Green Hills. The victims were identified as Evelyn Dieckhaus, Hallie Scruggs, and William Kinney, all 9 years old; as well as Cynthia Peak, 61; Dr. Katherine Koonce, 60; and Mike Hill, 61.
Investigators executed search warrants the same day of the shooting from the Hale family home. The search of the Brightwood Avenue home took place just hours after the shooting on March 27.
Inside the home, officers found two shotguns, one in a bedroom closet and another next to a desk in a bedroom. A suicide note was found on a desk in one of the bedrooms.
There were also five Covenant School yearbooks taken from the home. Police reported Hale attended The Covenant School at one time.
Investigators also seized what they described as a psych medical folder. Hale was also reportedly under doctor’s care for an “emotional disorder.”
According to police, a total of 152 rounds (126 rifle rounds and 26 nine-millimeter rounds) were fired from the time Hale shot into the school to the time Hale was shot and killed by police.
The collective writings found in Hale’s vehicle left in the school parking lot, and others found during the home search, show Hale documented the planning over a period of months to commit mass murder at The Covenant School. Hale also considered “the actions of other mass murderers.”