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The Associated Press

Nashville outlet did not tweet victim’s father calling for ‘end to tolerance’



CLAIM: WSMV-TV Nashville tweeted that the father of a victim of Monday’s Nashville school shooting called for “an end to tolerance” and “the end of the trans evil.”

AP’S ASSESSMENT: False. WSMV-TV, an NBC affiliate in Nashville, Tennessee, did not report that claim and an image purporting to show such a tweet from the outlet is fabricated, the outlet confirmed to The Associated Press. No news outlet has publically reported that quote from any victim’s family member.

THE FACTS: As friends and family members of the six people who were killed in the shooting at The Covenant School tell their stories, some social media users are sharing an image of a fake tweet, supposedly showing a local news outlet quoting the father of a young victim.

Police have identified the shooter, Audrey Hale, as transgender, and the bogus tweet alleges that the victim’s dad called for violence against the transgender community.

The tweet in the image shows the name and logo of WSMV-TV’s Twitter account, and reads: “Father of murderer girl, 9, at Covenant school shooting, calls for ‘an end to tolerance’ in family statement to the press, vowing ‘to fight with every fiber of my being for the end of the trans evil. The evil that took my daughter. There must be a solution to this evil in America.’” The image doesn’t show a link to a story.

The image circulated Wednesday on social media platforms including Twitter and Gab.

However, the tweet shown in the image is not real and no such quote has been publically reported from any victim’s family member in any news outlet.

The tweet does not appear on WSMV-TV’s Twitter profile and the outlet stated on its own Twitter account that the image was fake.

Amanda Hara, an anchor and director of digital at WSMV-TV, confirmed to the AP in an email that the tweet is fake and didn’t come from the outlet.

The six people killed in the shooting included three 9-year-old children identified by police as Hallie Scruggs, Evelyn Dieckhaus and William Kinney. Also killed were Katherine Koonce, the head of the Christian elementary school, Cynthia Peak, 61, a substitute teacher, and Mike Hill, 61, a custodian.


This is part of AP’s effort to address widely shared misinformation, including work with outside companies and organizations to add factual context to misleading content that is circulating online. Learn more about fact-checking at AP.

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