Audrey Hale

Officials said that when police searched the attacker’s home, they found a suicide note, weapons, and ammunition that belonged to the school shooter in Nashville, Audrey Hale.

The search warrant showed that the shooter turned 28 on March 24, three days before the attack at the Christian school.

Evelyn Dieckhaus, Hallie Scruggs, and William Kinney, all 9, and substitute teacher Cynthia Peak, 61, as well as school head Katherine Koonce, 60, and custodian Mike Hill, 61, were all killed.

Nashville police released a list of 47 items and groups of items that they said belonged to the shooter. This list included several journals, two shotguns, cellphones, laptops, and more.

The search warrant says that the officers found “3 folders and 19 journals.” Next to each entry, they wrote “firearms courses” and “school shootings.” The police department refused to give any more information.

They also found a school picture and five yearbooks from The Covenant School, where the shooter, who was a former student, killed six people on March 27, including three children. It’s not clear when the yearbooks were published.

Police said that the shooter was being treated by a doctor for an unnamed mental disorder and that he had hidden weapons in the family home without the parents’ knowledge.

Officials say the shooter bought seven guns legally from five stores in the area and then sold one of them. Three of the guns were used to shoot the people.

The shooter fired several shots into a door at The Covenant School, which allowed him or her to get in.

Police found journals in the shooter’s car and bedroom that showed that the attack had been planned for months.

Police said that the shooter did it alone and fired 152 rounds, 126 from a 5.56 rifle and 26 from a 9 mm pistol.

Both Officer Rex Engelbert and Officer Michael Collazo fired four shots at the attacker.

Engelbert, a four-year veteran of the Metro Nashville Police Department’s Central precinct, said at a press conference on Tuesday that he wasn’t supposed to be near the Midtown Hills precinct, where he was doing administrative work, when the call came in.

So, I shouldn’t have been where I was, said Engelbert. “You can call it fate, God, or whatever you want, but I can’t count on both hands the strange things that put me in that position when a call for help came in about an active, deadly attack at a school.”

When the police officers got to the first-floor lobby, they heard gunshots. Detective Sergeant Jeff Mathes told the press at a press conference that it was coming from a gun on the second floor.

The officers ran up the stairs toward the gunfire. Along the way, they met Collazo and other staff.

Collazo got into the school through the glass doors that the shooter had shot at. He found a 61-year-old custodian named Mike Hill who had been shot. Collazo said that he was on the ground and not moving.

Mathes said that when he got to the second floor, the hallway was “smoky” and smelled like gunpowder. Collazo also said that the fire alarm in the building was going off.

The officers had to step over a victim because they were still running toward the shooter, as their training told them to do.

“I still don’t know how I did that in a moral way,” Mathes said. “But the training did the trick.”

The officers went up to the shooter, and Collazo asked Engelbert to lead the way. Officers didn’t talk about how they caught the shooter because the investigation was still going on.

At the press conference, Police Chief John Drake praised the officers and thanked the teachers at The Covenant School, who had active shooter training and made sure the students were out of the hallways and away from the windows.

Drake said, “We could have lost a lot more people, but they were able to protect these kids as well.”

CORRECTION (April 4, 2023, 3 p.m. ET): In a previous version of this article, the number of shotguns on the search warrant was wrong. It wasn’t one, but two.

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