(NewsNation) — As residents of Nashville, Tennessee, mourn the three children and three adults killed by a shooter at Covenant elementary school, many questions remain about the circumstances leading up to the shooting.
A community that is in mourning for those killed during the Covenant school shooting gathered again for updates as authorities continue to investigate how and why the incident happened. The shooting left seven dead, including the shooter.
Metropolitan Nashville Police Chief John Drake said the shooter, who has been identified as 28-year-old Audrey Hale, was not known to police prior to the shooting. But even as new details have emerged, many are still left asking why.
“As it stands we had absolutely no idea who this person was, if she even existed,” Drake said.
Police have identified Hale as female, but there are reports the shooter identified as transgender and was using he/him pronouns and going by the name Aiden. Officials said they are still investigating if Hale’s gender played any role in the shooting.
More information emerged about the mind of the shooter, including that Hale was under a doctor’s care for an emotional issue.
But many questions remain, including the possibility that Hale was autistic, according to reports from family members.
“I can’t confirm that, but I heard that too,” Drake said.
Before the shooting, Hale was a student at Nossi College of Art. In a statement, the school told NewsNation that while Hale was enrolled, Hale was a talented artist and good student, adding that their thoughts and prayers go out to all the victims and their families.
Hale shared illustrations and self portraits online. Most are cartoons of animals but some are darker in nature, like a Jack Nicholson portrait that references the horror movie “The Shining.”
Much remains unknown about Hale’s motives, though police have confirmed Hale was once a student at Covenant. Officials are still combing through the shooter’s purported manifesto for more information.