The Metropolitan Nashville Police Department announced that it would block the release of the manifesto of Covenant Elementary School shooter Aubrey Hale this week, pending a current lawsuit.
The police department wrote on Twitter that it has been “advised by counsel to hold in abeyance the release of records related to the shooting at The Covenant School pending orders or direction of the court.”
Covenant investigation update: Due to pending litigation filed this week, the Metropolitan Nashville Police Department has been advised by counsel to hold in abeyance the release of records related to the shooting at The Covenant School pending orders or direction of the court.
— Metro Nashville PD (@MNPDNashville) May 3, 2023
The police department was sued by the Tennessee Firearms Association (TFA) which stated that the department was reneging on an April promise to release the information.
The Daily Wire described the situation as the police department “refusing to release records because it’s being sued for refusing to release records.”
Police Chief John Drake promised Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee (R) that the records would be released shortly.
The current debate also underscores a recent political crisis in the state legislature. Several members of the state House of Representatives led a disorderly protest in the state capitol building, including using a bullhorn in the chamber. Two members were expelled due to the protest.
Both were later reappointed to fill the resulting vacancies and received considerable sympathy in the media and a meeting with President Joe Biden.
Hale was shot and killed approximately 15 minutes after opening fire in the Christian elementary school. The shooter’s attack left three children and three adults dead. Hale’s transgender identity and motives behind the shooting became a major topic of conversation following the attack.
Several days after the shooting, police in Colorado arrested another transgender individual accused of planning to target an elementary school. William Whitworth was arrested on March 31, following a call from a family member.
According to the 911 call, the relative said that Whitworth threatened to open fire in local schools. Deputies arrested Whitworth at home. The suspect then admitted to violent plans against several schools, with the “main target” being Whitworth’s former elementary school.
The police also found a manifesto in Whitworth’s house, including a drawing of the school’s layout and alleged plans to harm public figures, including former President Donald Trump.