Fact check: Posts falsely link Twitter user's bedroom to Nashville shooter

The claim: Image shows Nashville shooter's bedroom

A March 28 Instagram post (direct link, archive link) features a screenshot of a tweet that includes a picture of a cluttered bedroom with several flags, including the transgender and democratic socialist flags, hung on the walls.

"Shooter had NAFO, trans, and socialist flags," reads text within the post. "Targeted Christian school... Hmmmmm."

The post garnered more than 600 likes in two days. The original tweet was liked more than 5,000 times in three days.

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Our rating: False

The picture does not show the bedroom of the Nashville shooter. It has been circulating online since at least 2021.

Picture shared by Twitter user in 2021

Audrey Hale, the shooter who killed three children and three staff members at a Nashville elementary school on March 27, identified as transgender and used male pronouns on social media, according to police.

But the bedroom pictured in the post is not linked to Hale.

The image was originally shared by a Twitter user in December 2021 alongside another tidier picture of the same room. The post appears to have originally been shared several days earlier, deleted and then reposted by the user @RedCharlotte_, who lives in Michigan, according to their profile.

The picture was later shared on online forums such as Reddit.

Fact check: Baseless 'false flag' conspiracy theory on Nashville shooting circulates online

The user told USA TODAY in a Twitter direct message that she was the original poster of the picture.

"It got spread around as people were making fun of my mess despite me cleaning it up," the user told AFP. "It only resurfaced due to conservatives claiming it was the shooter's room."

On March 28, @RedCharlotte_ replied to the tweet linking the picture of their bedroom to Hale.

"IM GETTING SAM HYDED," reads the tweet.

Sam Hyde is a comedian who has been repeatedly, and falsely, linked to mass shootings. Hyde was recently linked to the Nashville shooting, with online users sharing a photo edited to make Hyde look like a woman and calling him "Samantha Hyde."

USA TODAY reached out to the Instagram user who shared the post for comment. The Twitter user couldn't be contacted.

The claim has been debunked by Reuters and the Associated Press as well.

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This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Fact check: Image shows room of Twitter user, not Nashville shooter