Disturbing artwork created by Nashville school shooting suspect Audrey Hale has come to light as police revealed that the killer drew a “cartoon” outlining Monday’s attack.
Hale, the 28-year-old accused of killing six in a mass shooting at The Covenant School in Nashville, Tennessee, ran an art website called AH Illustrations.
Hale’s work showcased on the website ranges from the disturbing to the childlike, including a creepy drawing of Jack Nicholson in horror movie The Shining .
Chillingly, the word “MURDER” is scrawled backwards across the disturbing image, a reference to the movie.
There’s also a whole section titled “Mad World” which is filled with sprawling patterns and – perhaps more eerie given the age of Hale’s victims – there’s a whole trove of childlike images.
Drawings of a smiling multicolour turtle and a teddy bear duck dressed in a scarf wouldn’t look out of place in an elementary school, like the one Hale allegedly terrorised before being shot dead by police.
Another image on the website appears to show Hale’s feet with the phrase “To be a kid forever and ever” across it – as Hale is now accused of killing three small children.
The website also features a self-portrait of “Audrey the Artist” alongside a bio which describes the soon-to-be school shooter as “on a mission to change the world”.
Hale writes that “I am a freelance Illustrator and Graphic Designer who creates logos for businesses”.
The mass killer’s illustrative style is self-described as “whimsical” and with a “light-hearted feel”.
“Aside from art, I enjoy binging on video games, watching movies, and playing sports. There is a child-like part about me that loves to go run to the playground. Animals are my second passion, so I also enjoy spending time with my two cats,” Hale writes on the website, which had not been taken down as of Tuesday.
Hale, who went to art school in Nashville, is said to have used those creative skills to prepare for Monday’s mass shooting.
Nashville Police Chief John Drake told CBS Mornings on Tuesday that Hale had left behind a “cartoon” plan of the massacre and detailed maps of the scene as part of a “manifesto”.
“We have a manifesto, we have a booklet, that shows the exactly what she had planned to do,” he said.
“We have maps that show the entry point into the school, the weapons that were going to be used, the clothing that she was gonna wear, and she had drawn it up, almost like a cartoon character. It was exactly what she had on during this incident.”
Based on some maps, the police chief said that Hale was believed to be planning to carry out other attacks on a local mall and targeting family members.
“We strongly believe there was going to be some other targets, including maybe family members, and one of the malls here in Nashville,” he said.
“And that just did not happen.”
Police have identified the suspected shooter by their name at birth; Hale reportedly was a transgender man who used he/him pronouns, though law enforcement officials initially described the suspect as a woman in the aftermath of the shooting. Police did not provide another name but on the suspect’s social media accounts they refer to themselves as Aiden.
Chief Drake said that investigators are still working to establish a motive for the horror attack but confirmed that – as a former student at the christian school – Hale “had some history there”.
“What detectives have said so far is there’s possibly some resentment for having to go to that school,” he said.
Just after 10am on Monday morning, Hale allegedly drove to the elementary school armed with two assault rifles and a handgun.
There, Hale broke into the school building by shooting through the glass side doors and climbing inside.
Once inside, the shooter stalked the corridors, killing three small children and three staff members.
Students Evelyn Dieckhaus, Hallie Scruggs, and William Kinney – all aged nine – and three staff members Katherine Koonce, 60, Cynthia Peak, 61, and Mike Hill, 61, all died in the attack.
Responding officers fatally shot the assailant at 10.27am – 14 minutes after the first 911 call reporting an active shooter came in at 10.13am.
Bodycam footage, released on Tuesday morning, captured the officers searching for the shooter.
The officers move from classroom to classroom, clearing each room while searching for the assailant, as sirens emergency alarms ring out overheard.
While clearing the rooms, gunshots are heard being fired elsewhere in the elementary school building.
The officers then encounter Hale in front of a window in the atrium on the second floor of the school.
The 28-year-old former student is then shot dead by two veteran officers.
Minutes before the shooting, Hale had sent some chilling final messages to a friend warning that “something bad is about to happen”.
Averianna Patton said that Hale sent the messages via Instagram at 9.57am on Monday morning, revealing plans to die by suicide and saying that she would soon be reading about the upcoming events “on the news after I die”.
“One day this will make more sense,” Hale wrote.
“I’ve left behind more than enough evidence behind. But something bad is about to happen.”
Ms Patton said she later learned what her friend had done.
Hale does not appear to have had any criminal record prior to Monday’s massacre.
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