Nashville Court to Hear Arguments on Release of Trans Covenant Shooter’s Manifesto

A woman pays her respects at a makeshift memorial for victims outside the Covenant School building at the Covenant Presbyterian Church following a shooting, in Nashville, Tennessee, on March 28, 2023.(Photo by BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP via Getty Images)

OAN’s Brooke Mallory
12:15 PM – Tuesday, April 16, 2024

The long-awaited arguments regarding whether or not to divulge documents that belonged to the transgender shooter who killed six people at the Christian Covenant School will be heard by a judge in Nashville, Tennessee.


The documents have been sealed off from the public for more than a year.

Judge I’Ashea L. Myles is presiding over the court hearings, which will determine if the public will get access to a cache of documents that belonged to the gunman who killed three students and three staff members at the private Christian academy on March 27th, 2023.

In addition to the gunman’s manifesto, there are fourteen separate home films, twenty notebooks, a suicide note, and a psychological folder including the gunman’s medical records. There are also three folders containing notes and a memoir by the gunman, as well as material on firearm courses and “famous” school shootings of the past.

The Tennessee Public Records Act, which regulates whether documents are or are not considered public records, is the key factor in this hearing. The Tennessee Firearms Association, The Tennessean, The Tennessee Star, Republican State Representative Todd Gardenhire, and the National Police Association are the five parties involved in the lawsuit.

Meanwhile, a group of Covenant School families have filed a move to prevent the documents’ distribution, claiming that doing so would “cause more anguish” to those who were directly impacted by the shooting.

The Chief of the Metro Nashville Police Department, John Drake, had earlier stated that he would make case documents available, but he later retracted that promise. Many outlets, including the Daily Wire, have requested public records, but all have had their requests denied.

Conservative podcaster Steven Crowder leaked part of the manifesto in November after obtaining three photos of the alleged document. The documents had an itinerary for “death day,” which expressed Hale’s intention to have a “high death count,” along with racist remarks directed at White adolescents whom she wrote had “White privilege.” 

Hale was a biological woman who transitioned into identifying as a transgender man.

According to the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation director David Rausch, the gunman had a months-long plan for the Covenant School assault.

Judicial Watch, the group that filed the lawsuit, has demanded that the documents be made publicly available and asserted that the reason behind their refusal to disclose them is due to politics.

“We urge the court to place the public’s right to know above any political considerations,” said the organization’s president, Tom Fitton.

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