NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) — The parents of two children killed in the mass shooting at The Covenant School have filed declarations against the potential release of the shooter’s writings.
The parents of Evelyn Dieckhaus and William Kinney filed the declarations in addition to the parents of children who survived the shooting on the morning of March 27, 2023.
In a joint declaration, Evelyn’s parents said they hope “a more respectful, clear view can truly start to occur to help make a change that does not include releasing volumes of leverage for others planning similar devastation in this nation.”
The mother of William Kinney echoed the same point, writing in her eight-page declaration, “It is disgusting enough that the petitioners here demanding the release of these materials seek their own notoriety and serve commercial interests under the guise of ‘open government’ and ‘freedom of information,’ but most reprehensible of all, they are ultimately working on behalf of the Covenant school shooter to accomplish her final desire: Immortality.”
A father of two children who attend Covenant School reported in his declaration that his children have recurring nightmares, are afraid of loud noises and the family is unable to go anywhere there are large crowds. He states, “We pray that the shooter’s writings are never released to the public for fear of a copycat killer being inspired by an evil voice from the grave…The victims of The Covenant School shooting are silenced forever, so why give voice to a villain?”
One family said releasing the writings is “opening to all the world the writings of a deranged and psychopathic killer, thereby giving inspiration to the next heartless shell of a human looking to ‘make their mark.’”
One mother detailed how the writings “will give an exact ‘how to’ and influence and encourage other individuals who are deranged and unhinged to copy these violent and senseless acts, and I fear that lightning could strike twice even with my children who have already lived through this nightmare.”
On March 27, six people, including three children, were shot and killed by 28-year-old Audrey Hale at the Covenant School in Green Hills. The victims were identified as Evelyn Dieckhaus, Hallie Scruggs, and William Kinney, all 9 years old; as well as Cynthia Peak, 61; Dr. Katherine Koonce, 60; and Mike Hill, 61.
Investigators executed search warrants the same day of the shooting from the Hale family home. The search of the Brightwood Avenue home took place just hours after the shooting.
Inside the home, officers found two shotguns, one in a bedroom closet and another next to a desk in a bedroom. A suicide note was found on a desk in one of the bedrooms.
There were also five Covenant School yearbooks taken from the home. Investigators also seized what they described as a psych medical folder. Hale was also reportedly under doctor’s care for an “emotional disorder.”
According to police, a total of 152 rounds (126 rifle rounds and 26 nine-millimeter rounds) were fired from the time Hale shot into the school to the time Hale was shot and killed by police.
The debate over whether The Covenant School shooter‘s writings should be released to the public continues to play out in the court system.
The shooter’s family has given legal ownership of the documents seized from the Brightwood Avenue home and the shooter’s car, including the so-called “manifesto,” to the children of The Covenant School,
The judge has yet to rule on if the writings should be released to the public.