Metro Police to withhold release of Covenant School shooter’s journals ‘due to pending litigation’

The department says they’ve “been advised by counsel to hold in abeyance the release of records related to the shooting at The Covenant School.”
Published: May. 3, 2023 at 10:24 AM CDT
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NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WSMV) - The Metro Nashville Police Department reports they will be withholding the release of the Covenant School shooter’s writings for now.

MNPD says they’ve been advised by counsel to “hold in abeyance the release of records related to the shooting at The Covenant School.” This comes after a lawsuit was filed this week by Tennessee Firearms Association and a former East Tennessee sheriff demanding the release of Audrey Hale’s journals. It’s unknown at this time if other lawsuits have been filed.

According to Cornell Law School, an abeyance is “a temporary suspension of activity while awaiting the resolution of some other proceeding without which the activity in abeyance cannot continue.”

The lawsuit was filed by the TFA and a former sheriff of Hamilton County, James Hammond in the Chancery Court of Tennessee in Davidson County.

In the lawsuit, the TFA and Hammond requested a court order to force Metro to turn over Hale’s journals and writings and other records relating to the school shooting.

The lawsuit comes after demands for Hale’s writings grow louder on social media. Hale’s journals and writings, collected as evidence, remain in police custody and outside of the public eye. The firearms association and others believe the writings could explain why Hale, a former student at the school, drove to the school on March 27 and opened fire, killing three 9-year-olds, a school administrator, a substitute teacher, and a custodian.

On April 27, Gov. Bill Lee wrote on Twitter that Tennesseans could expect the writings to be released “very soon.” The next day, a Metropolitan Nashville Police Department spokeswoman said the release was still days away.

Tennessee lawmakers, country music stars, Elon Musk, and Donald Trump Jr. have been among those demanding the police department release Hale’s writings.