Nashville police: Covenant shooter planned attack over months, studied other mass shootings

Audrey Hale spent months studying, mapping and planning to "commit mass murder" at Covenant School, an act perpetrated alone, police said.

Hale fired more than 150 rounds during the March 27 shooting, Metro Nashville Police said Monday in a news release a week after the incident.

Three 9-year-old students Evelyn Dieckhaus, Hallie Scruggs and William Kinney— and staff members Katherine Koonce, Cynthia Peak and Mike Hill were killed before officers killed Hale.

According to MNPD, investigators found the detailed plans in journals collected from Hale's car and bedroom.

"The writings remain under careful review by the MNPD and the FBI’s Behavioral Analysis Unit based in Quantico, Virginia," the Monday release says. "The motive for Hale’s actions has not been established and remains under investigation by the Homicide Unit in consultation with the FBI’s Behavioral Analysis Unit."

Hale studied the actions of other mass murderers, police said.

Hale was under the care of a doctor for an "emotional disorder," MNPD Chief John Drake said last week. The chief added that Hale's parents thought he had one firearm but had sold it. Officers found seven firearms at Hale's home.

The first 911 call from the school came at 10:12 a.m. Dispatchers fielded 26 calls in total for the shooting, mostly from people inside the school. Callers noted sounds of gunfire, others shushed children as they whimpered softly in the background.

15 minutes of terror: How the Covenant School shooting and Nashville police response unfolded

In surveillance footage from the school, Hale pulls into the school's parking lot and remains parked for about 10 minutes. Hale then approaches a side door, dressed in camo pants and a vest and shoots out a glass door to gain entry to the school. Hale then patrols the halls, climbing a staircase to the second-floor.

Hale fired 126 rifle rounds and 26 rounds from a 9mm handgun.

Officers Rex Engelbert and Michael Collazo fired the killing shots at Hale.

Body camera footage from the officers showed a quick and precise response. In video from Engelbert's camera, a staff member directs the responding officers to the second-floor. Police cleared each classroom on the bottom floor before one-by-one climbing the steps to the second floor.

At least 10 gunshots echoed down the halls before the officers made it to the vestibule where Hale was standing.

Engelbert fired four rounds at Hale from his rifle. Collazo, who was to the right of Engelbert, fired four rounds from his service weapon.

About 10 minutes after the first call came in to 911, Hale was dead.

This article originally appeared on Nashville Tennessean: Nashville police: Covenant shooter planned for months, acted alone