In the latest development to come as the Metro Nashville Police Department continues to search for a motive for why Hale targeted her former elementary school on Monday morning, a former friend of the 28-year-old shooter revealed Hale was “heartbroken” over the August 2022 death of Sydney Sims .
According to Samira Hardcastle , who spoke with the New York Post on Wednesday, Hale was “deeply affected” by Sims’ death after the 27-year-old died in a car crash six months ago.
“After Sydney’s tragic death, Audrey was really heartbroken over it,” Hardcastle told the Post this week. “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 [Sims]. Maybe even infatuation,” Hardcastle continued. “That’s specifically who she really, really looked up to.”
Hale reportedly began using he/him pronouns in the wake of Sims’ August 2022 death and was found to have dedicated a TikTok to the late 27-year-old in February.
“For Syd,” Hale wrote alongside a clip showing the shadow of a person bouncing a basketball. “I look up the sky is bright. It’s a beautiful day. I wish you were here…”
Hale, Sims, and Hardcastle all attended the same middle and high schools and both Hale and Sims reportedly played on the same basketball teams before graduating from high school in 2014.
As RadarOnline.com previously reported, this development comes three days after Hale stormed the Covenant School in Nashville, Tennessee on Monday morning and killed three nine-year-old students and three adult staff members.
Hale reportedly reached out to another friend, radio host Avieranna Patton , just minutes before Monday morning’s mass shooting to warn Patton that “something bad is about to happen.”
“This is my last goodbye. I love you,” Hale messaged Patton just moments before shooting up the Covenant School at 10:13 AM Monday morning. “See you again in another life.”
“My family doesn’t know what I’m about to do. One day this will make more sense,” Hale continued in her message to Patton. “I’ve left more than enough evidence behind. But something bad is about to happen.”
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The MNPD has since confirmed they recovered a “manifesto” left behind by Hale, as well as “drawn out” maps of the private Christian school detailing how the shooting “was all going to take place.”
Nashville Police Chief John Drake has also confirmed that investigators are still searching for a motive for the shooting and whether Hale’s identity and newly revealed emotional disorder played a role in the devastating attack.
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