A high school friend of the Nashville school shooter is shocked to learn that the outgoing girl she ran with was behind the massacre that left six dead on a Christian college campus.
The friend, who asked not to be identified, described Audrey Hill, 28, to DailyMail.com as “sweet and funny” hours after the suspect opened fire at Covenant School, shooting and killing Evelyn Dickow, and Haley Scruggs. nine years. William Kenny on Monday.
Cops said Hill was transgender, though they did not specify further details. She was born female, but the LinkedIn profile believed to be hers uses her pronouns, indicating that Hale was living as a man.
The friend recalled her fading memories with Hale at the Nashville School of the Arts from about 2011 to 2014.
“What I did was unforgivable, but when I got to know her she was such a sweet, funny girl,” the friend told DailyMail.com. “When she came out as a (female to male) transgender, no one was surprised.”
It really didn’t fit the archetype of the school shooter. I don’t know what would have happened to turn her into this person we see on the news. Everyone in my grad class is missing out on Facebook. Really, no one expected this to happen.
Audrey Hill receiving a degree from Nosey College of Art in Nashville
Audrey Hill in her LinkedIn profile photo: Hill describes herself as an illustrator and graphic designer
The friend referred to Hill as “her” because she had known the suspect as female before the 28-year-old moved on after graduation.
“We went to the Nashville School of the Arts in high school, where we had many trans students and others who were part of the LGBTQ community,” said the friend. “We were together in visual arts classes and she was very involved in school and had many friends.”
Besides participating in the same clubs, the friend also knew Hill as a team player.
“We also ran track together for (Martin Luther King Jr.) (sister magnet school) and she was a great part of the team,” said the friend.
The friend added, “I would never stand up for anyone who harms a child. But it’s still really hard to believe she did. I sure thought it was wrong at first. The whole situation is very surreal.
She already had a good group of friends and did many school projects and activities. Not at all what you would expect from someone in this kind of headline.
DailyMail.com obtained letters from the Nashville School of the Arts alumni page where many of Hill’s former classmates were in disbelief.
One wrote: “This is crazy y’all.” I’m sure we can all say that the Audrey we knew in high school was the complete opposite of who they were this morning.
It’s hard enough to understand if we know Audrey, you know? I know this is a shock to the NSA family. My heart goes out to those sweet families who lost loved ones this morning.
Another graduate added: “Jesus!!”
Haley Scruggs was seen with her father, Chad Scroggs, who is the pastor at the school’s Presbyterian church
Substitute teacher Cynthia Beck, 61, also known as Cindy Broyles Beck, is shown with her daughter, Ellie. Beck was one of six people who were shot and killed at Covenant School in Nashville, Tennessee on March 27, 2023.
Kathryn Consey, the school’s principal (left), and Mike Hill, the trustee (right) were among those shot dead by Audrey Hill.
Hill went to Covenant School at around 10.13am, opened fire and was killed by police less than 15 minutes later.
Aside from the three students, all nine years old, who were declared dead, Hill also killed substitute teacher Cynthia Beck, 61, principal Kathryn Consey, 60, and guardian Mike Hill, 61.
The suspect drove to school in a Honda Fit, which was discovered on the campus of Covenant Church/School early Monday. Nashville police said they helped identify her.
“MNP investigators searched it and found additional material written by Hill,” the police said.
It is not clear what Hill’s motive was, but police believe she attended the school at some point. Police said they had drawn detailed maps of the school and were monitoring it.
Police said Hill left behind a statement that they believe will give them a motive for the massacre, the 129th in the United States in 2023.
“We have a statement, we have some writing that we’re reviewing that relates to this day,” Nashville Police Chief John Drake said. We have a map drawn of how all this happens. There is now a theory that we may bring up later but it is not confirmed. We will put that in as soon as possible.
Audrey Hale’s Honda Fit which she parked on the Covenant School campus before opening fire inside the school
A child cries as he leaves the Covenant School bus, after a mass shooting at the school in Nashville, Tennessee, US March 27, 2023
Children from Covenant School hold hands as they are taken to a reunification site at Woodmont Baptist Church after their school shooting, on Monday, March 27, 2023
Drake said Hill mentioned another location in her statement, but decided there was too much security to launch an attack.
According to Chief, Hill has no criminal history and said he did not know of any history of mental illness, although investigators are still looking into that.
The small school is run by a church and does not employ a School Resource Officer.
Hale styled herself as an illustrator, painting under the name Aiden. I got an education from Nossi College of Art in Nashville for digital art and design.
Her work has included renderings of Sponge Bob Squarepants, a tribute to Keith Haring, and a drawing of Jack Nicholson in The Shining, with his infamous quote: “Here’s Johnny!”
Pictures of Audrey receiving an award in Spring 2017 have appeared in Nossi ever since.
Audrey – who painted under the male name Aiden – was an illustrator and graphic designer
Hale styled herself as an illustrator, painting under the name Aiden. Pictured: two of Hill’s artworks