NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) — The city of Nashville is trying to figure out exactly how images of The Covenant School killer’s so-called “manifesto” made it into the hands of a conservative radio host Steve Crowder.
“It’s still a very fresh trauma for this city,” said Nashville Mayor Freddie O’Connell. “I have not looked at these images, don’t plan to.”
O’Connell said said he hopes leaking these photos was not an act of malice, profit or conspiracy.
“I can’t even imagine what would be going through somebody’s head who would sell unauthorized images knowing that they might retraumatize families, including children, who’ve been part of this victimization process,” said O’Connell.
Since the deadly shooting of six innocent people at The Covenant School in March, the release of the killer’s writings has been highly debated and the center of legal battles. O’Connell said The Covenant School families and shooter’s family involvement in the legal process has led to the delay in sharing, or not sharing, the documents publicly.
“We have no intention of interrupting that,” said O’Connell. “Right now, I think it makes a lot of sense to me that in the interest of public safety and victim’s rights, we want to let that process play out.”
After he found out about the leak on Monday morning, O’Connell said his office’s first thought was to continue connecting the impacted families to mental health resources.
He said with so many parties involved, they’re trying to figure out where their authority lies for an investigation.
“I’m, like our Metro Nashville Police Department, trying to follow the law and make sure we don’t further injure victims of this horrible incident,” said O’Connell. “At some point, very likely, the court will find one of two things: either the victims have the right to protect these and it will be up to how many unauthorized images get leaked, or, they will be classified as public documents at which point they’ll be released in whole.”