Nashville school shooting suspect Audrey Elizabeth Hale apparently did not attack a different location after scouting efforts found that it had too much security. That’s the word from Police Chief John Drake to reporters on Monday.
He revealed that the 28-year-old Hale, who was killed by responding officers, did a threat assessment before choosing Covenant School for her attack.
Key part of the story. “Drake said Hale apparently considered a second Nashville-area target for an attack but didn't go through with it because it had more security” https://t.co/VjOOKhoNy1
— Alisa🇺🇸Blessed Florida American (@AlisaBlessed) March 28, 2023
She was formerly a student at the school, which serves up through sixth grade. Police did not say exactly when Hale was a student at the private Christian elementary school but did confirm that she identified as transgender.
Drake told journalists that “there was another location that was mentioned, but because of threat assessment by the subject, too much security, they decided not to.” He added that the second location was also in Nashville and that authorities are investigating that as well.
In light of this revelation, school security will undoubtedly receive a fresh look. Even smaller private institutions such as The Covenant School should feel compelled to reexamine their physical security, staff training, and above all the need for an armed presence on campus.
The National Rifle Association (NRA) featured Drake’s press conference in a Twitter post. In response, the Second Amendment advocacy organization wrote, “School security is a deterrent. It’s time to prioritize school security and safeguard our children.”
That was also the word Monday afternoon from Rep. Barry Moore (R-AL), who said if $100 billion can be sent to Ukraine, the U.S. can afford “to keep our children safe.”
He asserted the nation has “a mental health crisis…that cannot be denied. We must take a look at school security and consider more funding.”
If we can secure airports, Moore observed, we can secure schools.
A forward-thinking bill was introduced in the Senate last September by Ted Cruz (R-TX). The Securing Our Schools Act attempted to utilize unspent COVID-19 funds to increase armed resource officers and mental health professionals in middle and high schools.
It would also have provided for security improvements to school buildings.
Cruz tweeted that he agreed with those who say “thoughts and prayers aren’t enough.” He also noted that every Senate Democrat voted against his measure to dramatically improve school safety.