The shooter at a private elementary school messaged and former middle school basketball teammate and current Nashville radio personality Monday minutes before the fatal shooting to say goodbye.
Averianna Patton, known as Averianna the Personality or ATP, said the Instagram message from Audrey Hale came in just before 10 a.m., some 15 minutes before Hale blasted side doors into The Covenant School and killed six people, three of them 9-year-old school children, according to WTVJ.
“I’m planning to die today,” Hale wrote. “THIS IS NOT A JOKE!!!!”
“This is my last goodbye. I love you. See you again in another life.”
Police have said that Hale, assigned female at birth, may have identified as transgender, as CrimeOnline previously reported. Although Patton had Hale listed as “Aiden” in her phone, she responded to “Audrey.”
“Audrey! You have so much more life to live.” Pattron responded. “I pray God keeps and covers you.”
“I know but I don’t want to live” Hale answered. “I’m so sorry. I’m not trying to upset you or get attention. I just need to die.”
“I wanted to tell you first because you are the most beautiful person I’ve ever seen and known my whole life.”
Hale wrote that “my family doesn’t know what I’m about to do.”
One day this will make more sense. I’ve left more than enough evidence behind.”
“But something bad is about to happen.”
Patton told her father about the message, and he urged her to call a suicide hot line.
“I tried to comfort and encourage her and subsequently reached out to the Suicide Prevention Help Line after being instructed to by my father at 10:08 am. Audrey has shared with others that she had been suicidal in the past, and I knew to take this serious,” Patton said to NewsChannel 5.
Five minutes later, she called the Davidson County Sheriff’s Office., which told her to call Metro PD’s non-emergency number. It was 10:13 a.m., when police say the first 911 calls came in from The Covenant School. At 10:14, she called the non-emergency line and was on hold for almost seven minutes before someone answered and said they’d send an officer out. The officer arrived at 3:30 p.m.
Patton isn’t sure if a faster response could have saved lives, but she wanted to try.
“I just want to see if it’s something that we can do as a community, as a city, to avoid this,” she told CNN.
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[Featured image: Audrey (Aiden) Hale/LinkedIn]