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New York Post

Nashville shooter Audrey Hale was ‘heartbroken’ over death of friend she may have been ‘infatuated’ with

By Haley Brown, Stephanie Pagones,


Nashville school shooter Audrey Hale was “heartbroken” over the 2022 death of a girl she was “infatuated” with, and who had played on the same basketball team in school.

Samira Hardcastle told The Post “tomboyish” Hale had been deeply affected by the death of Sydney Sims, who was killed in a vehicle accident in August 2022 according to an obituary .

Hardcastle, a classmate of both girls in middle and high school, said, “After Sydney’s tragic death, Audrey was really heartbroken over it … I just feel like she took it differently than some of us did. She was still posting about Sydney almost daily.

“What I knew of her was more admiring [Sydney]. Maybe even infatuation. That’s specifically who she really, really looked up to.”

Hale, who police said was transgender and had started to identify using he/him pronouns, posted a TikTok in February on a since-deleted account, “iam_aiden10,” dedicated to “Syd”.

The clip showed a shadow of a person bouncing a basketball and the words: “For Syd. I look up the sky is bright. It’s a beautiful day. I wish you were here…”

Hardcastle said she had last seen Audrey — who shot her way into her former elementary school on Monday and killed three nine-year-olds and three staff — a month ago when they had both attended a taping of their friend Avieranna Patton’s radio show.

“I don’t think she was with anyone. She was just kind of by herself,” Hardcastle said, adding, “I don’t think that they were very close but I think Audrey looked up to [her] like she looked up to Sydney. But I don’t know that it was ever, like, a two-way thing.”

Patton was the last person Hale contacted in the minutes before her shooting spree, sending her a message saying: “This is my last goodbye. I love you … See you again in another life.”
Nashville school shooter Audrey Hale was heartbroken over the death of a friend before the rampage.
Linkedin/Audrey Hale
Hale’s friend Sydney Sims passed away in August 2022 after a vehicle accident.
Facebook/Sydney Sims
Hale inside of the Covenant School during the shooting where she killed six people.

She also described Patton as “the most beautiful person I’ve ever seen and known all my life,” adding, “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.”

Follow The Post’s coverage of the school shooting in Nashville

Hardcastle said Hale was a “tomboy” back in school but did not appear to transition until adulthood.

She also said she didn’t know of Hale to have had any romantic relationship with Sims.

Maria Colomy, a former instructor at the Nossi College of Art & Design in Nashville, who taught Hale as an adult, said her transition began around the same time as she was grieving the loss of a romantic partner, the New York Times reported .
Hale and Sims played on the same basketball team in school.
Facebook/Sydney Sims
A classmate said that Hale “looked up” to Sims.
Nossi College of Art

Hale had written about how she missed the person, and frequently posted pictures of the pair playing basketball, according to the teacher.

Colomy reportedly said, “She had been openly grieving about that on social media, and during the grieving is when she announced that she wanted to be addressed as a male.”

Nashville Metro Police say they are still searching for a motive for why Audrey chose to shoot up the private Christian elementary Covenant School which she had at one time attended, but recovered a manifesto she had written before she embarked on the spree.
Hale posted a tribute to Sims on TikTok in February.

Nashville Police Chief John Drake said they are looking into whether Hale’s identity played a role in the slaughter.

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