Transgender Shooting At US Christian School Raises Questions
By Stefan J. Bos, Chief International Correspondent Worthy News
NASHVILLE (Worthy News) – A former special agent of the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) says the Christian school shooting in the U.S. city of Nashville is part of a pattern of mass shooters having “sexual identity dysfunctions.”
The former FBI agent, Navy SEAL Jonathan Gilliam, urged authorities to address “psychological confusion” that he suggested played a role in Monday’s killings of six people, including three children.
“Right now, they’re probably combing through the evidence to try to figure out what the motivation was here,” he told Fox News television’s Fox & Friends First program. “But with somebody who has a mental illness or not, the motivation may be completely unbiased or based in false reality.”
He spoke after the shooter who attacked Nashville’s Covenant School was identified as 28-year-old transgender Audrey Hale, who was killed by police at the scene.
Police initially described Hale as a teenager, then a 28-year-old woman, later adding that Hale was transgender. Sources close to Hale said that Hale had “relatively recently” started “identifying as he/him.”
Her struggles with identity and related emotional disorders were named as a possible motive though investigations continued.
Before the shootings, Hale had legally purchased seven guns from five local gun stores and hid some of those weapons at home, police confirmed.
Body camera footage of Monday’s shooting showed police entering the school following the sound of the gunfire to the second floor. They found the suspect in a second-floor lobby area.
After an officer shouted “reloading,” the video showed officers identified as Rex Engelbert, a four-year veteran, and Michael Collazo, a nine-year veteran, firing at the suspect.
Hale was shot dead about 14 minutes after the initial 911 emergency phone call came, police said. But by that time, six people were dead.
The victims were named Evelyn Dieckhaus, Hallie Scruggs, and William Kinney, all 9, as well as custodian Mike Hill, 61, substitute teacher Cynthia Peak, 61, and headmaster Katherine Koonce, 60.
As officers looked for motives, Metropolitan Nashville Police Chief John Drake said that while the Convent School school was targeted, it appeared “the students were randomly targeted.
Their alleged killer was described as a former student. Sources close to Hale said Hale was an “autistic student” but highly functioning.
Hale was “a quiet student” who recently graduated with a degree in illustration and graphic design from Nossi College of Art and designed logos for businesses, sources said.
Yet that was a far cry from the day the suspect was armed with two assault-style rifles, a handgun, and “significant ammunition” to attack, the school police said.
Hale, who lived in Nashville, had legally purchased seven guns from five local gun stores, the chief told reporters Tuesday.
The attack raised debates about the easy access to weapons in the United States.
President Joe Biden, who was extensively briefed on the situation, has renewed calls for the U.S. Congress to take action on gun violence.
Several local churches held prayer vigils, and more were scheduled in the coming days to pay respects to the victims and offer the community’s support for their families.