Mar 28, 2023

Nashville Shooting Press Conference Transcript

Nashville Shooting Press Conference Transcript
RevBlogTranscriptsMass ShootingNashville Shooting Press Conference Transcript

Nashville officials are providing an update on a deadly school shooting, where three kids and three adults were killed Monday in a shooting at an elementary school. Read the transcript here.

Transcribe Your Own Content

Try Rev and save time transcribing, captioning, and subtitling.

Don (00:00):

At this point, we’re going to hear from Mayor John Cooper, chief Drake is also here, as well as Chief Swan and District Attorney Funk. At this time, Mayor John Cooper.

Mayor John Cooper (00:14):

Well, thank you, Don. Laura and I want to express our grief and our city’s grief, on this unexpected day, this worst day. But let us love each other, and support each other, and hug each other, and pray for each other, and pray for our families. But also let us praise our first responders. 14 minutes. 14 minutes. I believe under fire, running to gunfire. And then I want to thank the seamless response for federal and state authorities from our police and fire department. So this morning I was in Boston to see my own son’s sporting event, and now I am overwhelmed at the thought of the loss of these families, of the future lost by these children and their families.

And the leading cause of kids get death now is guns and gunfire, and that is unacceptable. But I want to thank the fast response of our officers. Guns are quick, they don’t give you much time. So even in a remarkably fast response, there was not enough time. And those guns stole precious lives from us today in Nashville. And in this dark hour, let us support each other. Let us go and hug our children a little bit closer tonight. And thank you all for being here, and I want to ask Chief Drake to come and give us an update.

Chief Drake (02:14):

Thank you, Mayor Cooper. Again, thank you all for being here. Just an update from today’s press conference. We’ve identified the shooter as Audrey Hale, 28-year-old female, that lived in the Nashville area. We have investigations ongoing now at the residence on Brightwood Avenue. We have made contact with the father that lived at that residence and are putting together more information. We’ve also determined there were maps drawn of the school in detail of surveillance, entry points, et cetera. We know and believe that entry was gained through shooting through one of the doors is how they actually got into the school. I want to take the time to at least say, and I won’t say the victim’s names, I’ll let Don say that. But out of the six victims, three adults, three of those were children, two of them were age nine, one was eight, about to be nine.

All the families have been contacted. The victim’s families have been contacted as well. My thoughts and prayers go out to the family. When we send our kids to school or to any place of safety, we expect them to live, learn, have fun, and come back from that days’ experience. We don’t anticipate things like this. And I want to say thank you to our partners, to Chief Swan, to Glenn Funk, to our Mayor for his support, to our federal partners. But also I want to say thank you to our first responders who got there and immediately went in and addressed the threat of someone that had multiple rounds of ammunition, prepared for a confrontation with law enforcement, prepared to do more harm than was actually done, and were able to stop the threat, and unfortunately, six victims.

So my thoughts and prayers again, but the prayers go to the men and women. As I’ve said before, we will not wait. I was hoping this day would never ever come here in this city. But we will never wait to make entry and to go in and to stop a threat, especially when it deals with our children. So thank you.

Not just me, they’re not saying anything.

Don (05:08):

I’m going to go over the victim’s names with you now. The three nine year olds who were killed, Evelyn Dickhouse, William Kenny, Halle Scruggs. Three adults, Mike Hill, a custodian age 61. Cynthia Peak, to my understanding, a substitute teacher age 61, and Catherine Kutz, age 60. As Chief Drake said, we have identified the active shooter as Audrey Elizabeth Hale, age 28. We’ll take just a few questions if you have any.

Speaker 4 (05:55):

Don, do you believe that she was a former student at the school?

Don (05:58):

Yes, we do. Chief, do you want to address that?

Chief Drake (06:01):

Yes. Our investigations tell us that she was a former student at the school. I don’t know what grade she’s attended, or grades. But we do firmly believe she was a student there.

Speaker 5 (06:14):

Did she identify as transgender?

Chief Drake (06:16):

She does identify as transgender, yes.

Speaker 9 (06:21):

Is there any reason to believe the shooter first went to the church before going to the school?

Chief Drake (06:27):

I can’t give you that information. We know that the minute the calls came in, we responded to the school. Yeah.

Speaker 6 (06:40):

Was there two officers that went in when they first got there, or do you know how many there was when they first entered?

Chief Drake (06:44):

So it was five officers that immediately went in and addressed. We have video that we’re going to release, but in the video, you can hear gunfire going on as they’re in the school, they address the threat and take that threat down.

Speaker 7 (07:01):

And Chief, what do we know about her weapons?

Chief Drake (07:03):

So we know there were two AR style weapons. One a rifle, another was a AR style pistol, and the other was a handgun. We believe two of those may have been obtained legally, locally here.

Speaker 5 (07:20):

Can you confirm that one of the adult victims, Catherine Kutz, was head of the school?

Chief Drake (07:25):

Was what?

Speaker 5 (07:25):

Was head of the school?

Chief Drake (07:28):

I don’t know her exact capacity within the school, but it was higher up in echelon.

Speaker 5 (07:35):

Were any of the children victims related to any of the school staff?

Chief Drake (07:39):

Unsure. I believe one may have been, but I can’t confirm that.

Speaker 9 (07:42):

Does the shooter have any criminal history at all?

Chief Drake (07:45):

No history at all.

Speaker 4 (07:48):

No motive at this point? Anything discovered in the apartment or out?

Chief Drake (07:53):

No. We have a manifesto. We have some writings that we’re going over, that pertained to this date, the actual incident. We have a map drawn out of how this was all going to take place. There’s right now a theory that we may be able to talk about later, but it’s not confirmed. And so we’ll put that out as soon as we can.

Speaker 7 (08:15):

And Chief, is there any reason to believe that how she identifies has any motive for targeting the school?

Chief Drake (08:21):

I’m sorry, I knocked someone’s mic over. I didn’t hear you. Say that again sir.

Speaker 7 (08:22):

Is there any reason to believe that how she identifies has any motive for targeting the school?

Chief Drake (08:29):

We can give you that at a later time. There is some theory to that. We’re investigating all the leads and once we know exactly, we’ll let you know.

Speaker 5 (08:38):

So was this a targeted attack?

Chief Drake (08:40):

It was.

Speaker 5 (08:42):

Do we know about a history of mental illness?

Chief Drake (08:45):

Don’t know any history of mental illness at this time, but we are looking at that as the investigation is ongoing.

Speaker 5 (08:51):

Does she identify as a transgender man or woman?

Chief Drake (08:55):


Speaker 8 (08:58):

Was this the only school that was targeted?

Chief Drake (09:00):

It was the only school that was targeted. There was another location that was mentioned, but because of a threat assessment by the suspect, too much security, they decided not to. And that area was here in Nashville, so we’re continuing with that investigation as well. Right now we believe it’s a lone assailant, and we don’t anticipate any further damage at this time. But we’re still investigating

Speaker 8 (09:32):

The Brightwood address, she lived there with her parents?

Chief Drake (09:32):


Speaker 8 (09:32):


Chief Drake (09:32):

Yes. Okay. Thank you.

Don (09:34):

So the scene is going to be processed throughout the night, probably into tomorrow. This is an extensive scene. As you know, she entered the building, which is one structure. The church and the school are in one building. She entered on the lower floor. There were shots fired on the lower floor before she went to the upper level. And it was on the upper level where she was confronted by police and killed. So understand, the scene processing will take place over at least two days, today and tomorrow. And we’ll have more details for you, including the release of video perhaps tonight, but if not tonight, certainly tomorrow. Thank you.

Transcribe Your Own Content

Try Rev and save time transcribing, captioning, and subtitling.