Audrey Hale, who killed five people at a school in Nashville, was “obsessed” with and “stalked” two of her former middle school basketball teammates, both of whom died in the last eight months.
The 28-year-old, who police said was transgender and had just started using “he” and “him” pronouns, enjoyed her time at Isaiah T. Creswell Middle School, where she shot hoops, according to The Tennessean.
Hale was a shy girl at the time, so she appreciated how her more athletic teammates tried to make her feel comfortable.
She was very sad when her former teammate Sydney Sims died in a car accident last year. Friends told The Post that Hale was “infatuated” with Sims.
The Tennessean says that another teammate, Marque Lichelle Hamilton, died at the scene of another crash in Nashville in February.
Antoine Buchanan, who used to be the head coach at Creswell and coached Hale, remembered her as a shy, small eighth-grader on a team that made it to the final four of the city tournament.
She said that Hale didn’t do much but sit on the bench.
Buchanan told the paper, “She would have played if we were really ahead or behind.”
Averianna Patton, a former teammate of Hale’s who called 911 after getting scary messages from Hale minutes before the shooting, remembered that the team was close.
“When we met Audrey for the first time, she was very shy. We had real camaraderie. We were like a family on the court,” she told the news source.
Mia Phillips, a 28-year-old former teammate, said that the other players thought Hale was shy.
“So we really became friends with her,” she said.
The two girls went to different high schools and stopped talking to each other. However, Hale kept in touch with Phillips through social media, sometimes in ways that Phillips found creepy.
Phillips was surprised to see an email from Hale when she set up her new email at Middle Tennessee State University. Hale also sent her things from when they were teammates.
“I’m trying to be as kind and truthful as possible. It felt like a fixation. Phillips told The Tennessean that it felt like he was stalking her.
She never felt like she had to call the police about Hale, but she did say that the woman made people feel uncomfortable.
In February 2022, Hale went to a birthday party at a restaurant in Goodlettsville, Tennessee, even though she wasn’t invited. Several of her old teammates were there.
Phillips said Hale seemed drunk because she stumbled and slurred her words, but other people at the party said she hadn’t had anything to drink and thought she was acting drunk.
Phillips asked Hale for her phone so she could get home safely by calling her family, but Hale said no.
“No one knew what to do. It was just irritating us in a weird way and making us feel really bad. She told the paper, “It didn’t feel right.”
Phillips said that she then left the party, but that Hale soon sent her messages begging her to come back. The messages did not sound like they were written by someone who was drunk.
Last year, Hale went up to Phillips as she was leaving a memorial for Sims and asked if they could hang out.
Phillips told The Tennessean, “I told her that it wasn’t the right time or place because we were all sad.”
Patton received chilling messages from Hale shortly before 10 a.m. Monday.
“I’m planning to die today,” Hale wrote, using the name Aiden.
“THIS IS NOT A JOKE!!!” You’ll probably hear about me on the news after I die,” she reportedly added.
Hale killed three students — 9-year-olds Evelyn Dieckhaus, Hallie Scruggs and William Kinney — and school janitor Mike Hill, substitute teacher Cynthia Peak and headmistress Katherine Koonce before being shot by police.