Nashville shooter was reportedly being counseled by pastor whose daughter she killed

A stunning revelation has emerged: Chad Scruggs, the father of one of the children who Nashville mass shooter Audrey Hale executed on Monday at The Covenant School, is the school’s pastor and had been providing her with private counseling.

“He was providing counseling for her, and something didn’t sit right with her,” Scruggs’ predecessor, former Covenant School pastor Jim Bachmann, told “Inside Edition.”


In addition, Hale may have been specifically targeting Scruggs during Monday’s mass shooting.

“Former Covenant School pastor Jim Bachmann says Hale appeared to be searching for Scruggs when she went through the school. She shot Scruggs’ 9-year-old daughter dead,” “Inside Edition” reported.

Bachmann speculated that had Hale found Scruggs, then perhaps she would have left his daughter alone.

Some now wonder whether she would have left everybody else alone had she found Scruggs. Others say this new information is definitive proof that Hale’s actions are tantamount to a targeted hate crime against Christians.


Critics also continue to ponder why Hale’s manifesto has yet to be released. Local authorities have for their part claimed they don’t want to release it during an “open investigation.”

Meanwhile, LGBT groups on both the left and the right have been calling for the manifesto to never be publicly released, ostensibly because doing so may inspire other mass shooters.

“It should not be published. The focus should be on how this was able to happen in the first place. There should not be such easy access to deadly weaponry,” Jordan Budd, the executive director of Children of Lesbians and Gays Everywhere (COLAGE) told Newsweek.

“The contents don’t change the outcome of the tragedy. Regardless of the shooter’s intentions, the real issue here is the ease of access to deadly weapons in Tennessee and elsewhere. All children, no matter who their parents are or how they identify, should feel safe and supported at school. That includes a world free from gun violence,” he added.

Charles Moran, the national president of Log Cabin Republicans, a right-wing LGBT group, appeared to agree with some of what Budd said, telling Newsweek that the release of Hale’s manifesto could trigger “serious consequences.”

“While it would certainly give insight into the motivations of this deeply troubled individual that could help shed light into root causes, we know from tragedies like this that additional glorification of the shooter could inspire others to take similar violent acts for attention,” he said.

Laura McGinnis, a spokesperson for PFLAG, reportedly the largest LGBT group in the country, also concurred, warning that releasing the manifesto could “increase the risk of contagion,” as reported by Newsweek.

In separate but related news, on Thursday CNN aired the audio from a phone call made to the Metro Nashville Emergency Communications Center only minutes after the mass shooting began.

“A former teammate of the shooter made the call after she received what she described as a very weird message on Instagram,” a CNN anchor reported.

The teammate, Averianna Patton, had received a disturbing message from Hale in which she’d said she was about to die and that her death would be televised on the news.


“I received a very, very weird message from my friend on Instagram. I think it’s like a suicidal thing. I called the suicide hotline and they told me to call the sheriff’s department. The sheriff’s department tells me to call you guys, so I’m just trying to see can anybody — I just don’t want it on my conscience — if somebody can go check on her? Only thing I have is her Instagram. I went to school with her in middle school, but I don’t know. No friends, no numbers, or anything like that,” Patton said on the call.

“You don’t know her address?” the operator then asked.

“I don’t. I don’t have her address,” Patton replied.

“Okay, unfortunately, we can’t send anything up without an address,” the operator then said before the call evidently ended.

Patton appeared live on CNN earlier this week to tell the public more about what all happened.



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