By Jonathon Van Maren
On Monday, 28-year-old Audrey Hale, a young woman who identified as transgender, entered The Covenant Christian School in Nashville, Tennessee, with two AR-style weapons and a handgun, shooting open a locked side door to gain access. She began her shooting spree at around 10:13 a.m., killing three 9-year-old children – Evelyn Dieckhaus, Hallie Scruggs, and William Kinney – and three adults – 61-year-old substitute teacher Cynthia Peak, 60-year-old principal Dr. Katherine Koonce, and 61-year-old custodian Mike Hill.
Less than fifteen minutes later, Hale was shot and killed by two police officers – Rex Engelbart and Michael Collazo – who rushed into the building. Hale fired on the arriving police cars from a second story window. Late Monday night, a spokesperson for The Covenant Christian School released a statement:
We are grieving tremendous loss and are in shock coming out of the terror that shattered our school and church. We are focused on loving our students, our families, our faculty and staff, and beginning the process of healing.
Chad Scruggs, the pastor at the Presbyterian church associated with the school, lost his little girl in the shooting. Reports indicate that Evelyn Dieckhaus, who was described by her heartbroken family in a statement as “a shining light” and “unfailingly kind and gentle,” died trying to pull the fire alarm to get help as Hale approached. The photos of the children are unbearable to look at. It is impossible to fathom what the parents must be going through.
The media’s reaction has been predictable, but watching it unfold is still profoundly dispiriting. The Daily Mail’s headline: “Nashville mass shooter was rejected by her Christian parents.” NBC News: “Fear pervades Tennessee’s community amid focus on Nashville shooter’s gender identity.” The Associated Press: “The head of the of the Christian elementary school in Nashville who was killed in a shooting there on Monday was described by friends as smart, loving and a rare female leader within a male-led religious culture.” USA Today corrected initial reports that had “misgendered” the shooter. And the worst, from Reuters: “Former Christian school student kills 3 children, 3 staff in Nashville shooting.”
Every effort is now being made to ensure that the narrative is focused on gun control and demonizing Christians and those who oppose the transgender movement’s agenda instead of on the fact that a mentally ill young woman who identified as transgender murdered three adults and three small children.
The Daily Mail rushed to smear the parents with an all-caps “TRANS OUTCAST” subtitle to its article, claiming that she was “rejected” by her parents, when they simply did not support her identifying as male while ignoring the fact that this almost thirty-year-old woman still lived with her parents, who were deeply concerned about her mental health. LGBT groups rushed to warn against releasing the transgender shooter’s manifesto, which would clear up any of the media-manufactured confusion about her motives.
Audrey Hale is one in a string of mass shooters suffering from mental illness that manifested in gender confusion. As Benny Johnson observed, the Colorado Springs shooter identified as non-binary; the Denver shooter identified as transgender; so did the Aberdeen shooter. A 2022 study of Quebec youth, as Wesley Yang pointed out, found that young people identifying as transgender were the group at highest risk of support for violent radicalization.
This is unsurprising, considering the fact that trans influencers regularly state that people who identify as transgender are victims of a current and ongoing genocide, something that California legislator and LGBT activist Scott Wiener reiterated in the wake of the shooting. Another commentator compared the New York Post’s accurate headline, “Transgender killer targets Christian school,” (which is every bit as accurate as a headline noting a white supremacist shooter’s racist views) with the Nazi rag Der Sturmer.
Add to that the fact that a transgender group is scheduled to hold a “Trans Day of Vengeance” outside the Supreme Court this week and a mob of violent trans activists attacking feminist speaker Posie Parker at an event in New Zealand that spiralled out of control and made her fear for her life, and we have collectively gotten a long, hard look at the radicalism of the transgender movement.
No amount of media gaslighting can change a set of horrifying, gut-wrenching facts: a self-described transgender shooter entered a Christian school and gunned down three teachers, two little girls, and a little boy – whom she targeted because they were at the Christian school. Audrey Hale’s manifesto, if it is released, will tell us more. Considering the events of the past week alone, her willingness to perpetrate violence does not appear to be an outlier.