Audrey Hale shown smiling ear-to-ear with basketball teammates

EXCLUSIVE: Nashville mass murderer Audrey Hale is pictured beaming with middle school basketball team – as former players speak out about her ‘obsessive and stalkerish’ behavior

  • uncovered a new picture showing trans killer Audrey Hale in middle school
  • The mass shooter attended Isaiah T. Creswell Middle School in Nashville where she was on the basketball team
  • Hale was described as a ‘benchwarmer’ by the team’s coach 

School yearbook photographs have revealed trans mass killer Audrey Hale in her teenage years beaming alongside her basketball teammates – as former players speak out about her ‘obsessive and stalkerish’ behavior. 

During her time at Isaiah T. Creswell Middle School in Nashville, Hale, 28, was part of the successful Lady Comets hoops team. Hale’s coach Antoine Buchanan told The Tennessean that Hale was ‘bench warmer’ who would only play if the team was ‘really winning’ or ‘really losing.’ 

In the wake of the Nashville mass murder this week, which left six people including three nine-year-olds dead, former teammates have now spoken out about trans school shooter Audrey Hale’s odd behavior. 

Mia Phillips told The Tennessean the killer was ‘shy’ but that the team had ‘befriended’ her during their time playing together. After the pair went their separate ways to different high schools, Phillips said Hale persistently messaged her on social media and once found an email sent from an account that had just been set up. 

‘I’m trying to be as respectful and also as honest as possible. It felt obsessive. It felt like stalkerish behavior,’ Phillips told the newspaper. 

Hale, 28, played hoops on the Isaiah T. Creswell Middle School’s women’s team in Nashville

Hale, shown in the front of this team picture, was essentially a bench warmer for the team, according to their coach

‘She would have played if we were really winning or really losing,’ her coach Antoine Buchanan told The Tennessean 

Investigators have not disclosed what motivated Hale to kill students Evelyn Dieckhaus, Hallie Scruggs and William Kinney, all 9 years old as well as Katherine Koonce, 60, the head of the school; substitute teacher Cynthia Peak, 61; and Mike Hill, a 61-year-old custodian 

Investigators have not disclosed what motivated Hale to kill students Evelyn Dieckhaus, Hallie Scruggs and William Kinney, all 9 years old as well as Katherine Koonce, 60, the head of the school; substitute teacher Cynthia Peak, 61; and Mike Hill, a 61-year-old custodian at the Covenant School in Nashville on Monday. 

In her interview with The Tennessean, Mia Phillips described an incident from February 2022 when Hale pretended to be drunk at a party despite not consuming any drinks. 

‘Everybody was confused. It was just rubbing us in a weird way of, like, giving us a really negative feeling. It didn’t feel right,’ she said. 

After Phillips left the party, Hale texted her in a coherent manner asking her to come back. 

Following the death of one of their teammates, Sidney Sims, 22, in August 2022 following a car accident, Phillips said Hale followed her to her car in order to continue hanging out. 

‘I was expressing to her that it was not the time or the place, that we were all grieving,’ Phillips told the newspaper. 

Another former teammate of both Hale and Patton’s called 911 on the day of the tragedy after she received disturbing Instagram messages from the killer. 

Averianna Patton said she knew Hale had been suicidal in the past 

 She shot and killed three students, 9, and three staff members at 10:10am – sending the messages to Patton at 9.57am

After receiving one particular message from Hale saying: ‘I’m planning to die today – you’ll probably hear about me on the news’, Patton called a suicide hotline, which then encouraged her to contact the authorities to alert them to the situation.

In her 911 call at around 10:12am – when armed officers had already arrived on the scene – she said: ‘I’m just trying to see if anybody can help. I just don’t want it on my conscience.

‘If somebody can go check on her – the only thing I have is her Instagram. Can I give you her Instagram so y’all can find her or track her that way?’

Hale’s former basketball teammate was told there was nothing officers could do to help without an address for the gunman.

But the Metropolitan Nashville Police has confirmed to Fox17 that at the time of the call, police were already arriving at the private Christian school to tackle the shooter.

Hale, who went by both Audrey and Aiden, had already shot and killed six people by the time police arrived.

At 9.57am, 16 minutes before cops were first notified of the shooting, Audrey wrote: ‘So basically that post I made on here about you, that was basically a suicide note.

‘I’m planning to die today. THIS IS NOT A JOKE!!! You’ll probably hear about me on the news after I die.

‘This is my last goodbye. I love you. ‘See you again in another life. Audrey (Aiden).’

Police have said Hale was under a doctor’s care for an undisclosed ’emotional disorder.’ 

However, authorities haven’t disclosed a link between that care and the shooting. Police also said Hale was not on their radar before the attack.

Social media accounts and other sources indicate that the shooter identified as a man and might have recently begun using the first name Aiden. 

Police have said Hale ‘was assigned female at birth’ but used masculine pronouns on a social media profile. However, police have continued to use female pronouns and the name Audrey to describe Hale.

911 calls released by officials around the shooting include the voices of teachers and school officials, some whispering while hiding in classrooms, closets, bathrooms and offices, as alarms rang loudly. One teacher tells an operator she is with 17 children in a classroom and hearing ‘so many shots.’

In another call, 76-year-old retired church member Tom Pulliam tells the dispatcher he is with a group, including several children, walking away from the Christian school. 


9:30am – Metro Police Chief John Drake confirmed that Audrey Hale, 28, left her parents property with a red bag. She was questioned by her mother about the bag but dismissed the question.

9:53am — Hale arrives at the Covenant School in her Honda Fit. She is seen in surveillance footage driving around the parking lot, going out of frame and parking at about 9:55 a.m.

9:57am – Hale sends a goodbye message on Instagram to Averianna Patton. The message said: ‘This is my last goodbye. I love you. See you again in another life.’ She then responds, telling Hale that she has so much more to live for.

Hale replies again, saying one day, ‘this will make more sense’ but ‘something bad is about to happen.’

10:03am – Averianna Patton calls the suicide prevention hotline to try to report the messages that she has been sent by Hale. They tell her to contact the local sheriff’s department.

10:10am – Hale approaches a side entrance to the private Christian school and shoots through the glass doors to gain entry with her two AR-style rifles and a handgun.

10:12am – Patton makes an emotional call to 911 asking them to check on Hale after the disturbing messages. She is told that there is not much officers can do without an address for her.

10:13am – First shots-fired call to 911.

10:14am – Hale walks through a school hallway and walks around the property for several minutes. She then passes the children’s ministry before firing shots at 10:21 a.m. and then walking out of the video frame.

10:24am – The first Metro Police officers arrive on the scene, with Officer Englebert unlocking the door and entering the school. The five-member tactical unit enters the school and starts its search for the shooter.

10:27am – The team of officers encounters the shooter on the second-floor atrium. Police said Hale had been firing through a window at arriving officers. Englebert, alongside Officer Michael Collazo, shot and killed Hale.

Although Pulliam remains calm, the tension and confusion of the situation are clear, with several adults speaking over each other and children’s voices in the background.

When the dispatcher requests a description of the shooter, Pulliam asks a second man to get on the line.

‘All I saw was a man holding an assault rifle shooting through the door. It was — he’s currently in the second grade hallway, upstairs’ the man says, noting that the assailant was dressed in camouflage. 

Asked about how many shots were fired, a woman responds, ‘I heard about 10, and I left the building.’

Pulliam, who was driving with his wife near the church when the attack happened, told The Associated Press on Thursday that he is struggling to make sense of it. He said he mostly recalls the children and how calm they seemed, not ‘yelling and screaming or anything.’

‘Up there for a normal day of school, these young children,’ he said. ‘Now, there’s difficult days to go through.’

In another call that started just before 10:13 a.m., a woman tells a dispatcher that she can hear a pause in the gunshots from her hiding spot in an art room closet.

Asked if it is a safe spot, the woman answers, ‘I think so,’ as children can be heard in the background.

The teacher then says she can hear more gunshots, begging the dispatcher, ‘Please hurry.’

In another call, lead pastor Chad Scruggs, whose daughter was killed in the attack, identifies himself and tells the operator he’s outside the building and heading toward the gunshots.

‘I’m getting calls from the inside,’ he says.

One woman, who hid under a desk in a nursery, tells a dispatcher the school, which is attached to the Covenant Presbyterian Church, sometimes has some staff members carry firearms but does not have dedicated security guards.

‘We do have a school person, or two, I’m not sure, who would be packing — whose job it is for security,’ she says. ‘We don’t have security guards, but we have a staff.’

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