Josh Hawley Calls Nashville Shooting An Anti-Christian ‘Hate Crime’

Public/Screenshot/Twitter — User: Abigail Marone

Brianna Lyman News and Commentary Writer
Font Size:

Republican Missouri Sen. Josh Hawley became the first member of Congress to label Monday’s shooting in Nashville a hate crime after a transgender shooter targeted a private Christian school.

The Nashville Police Department received a call at 10:13 a.m. Monday morning about shots fired at The Covenant School and arrived on scene. Upon arrival, a suspect, later identified as transgender 28-year-old Audrey Hale, opened fire on police from a second-story window. A group of five officers entered the school and found Hale on the second floor, where they engaged in gunfire before fatally striking Hale, according to the police department.

Hawley argued the shooting targeted Christians, though police have not yet confirmed or denied that claim.

“We must also tell the truth about what happened yesterday in Nashville. This murderous rampage, this taking of innocent life, was a horrific crime, but more specifically it was a hate crime. A crime that, according to Nashville police, specifically targeted … the members of this Christian community, the members of this religious institution, its students, its educators, its employees…”

Three nine-year-old students and three adult staff members were killed in the shooting.

“The members of this community were singled out because of their religious affiliation and now three young children are dead, and three educators are dead, because of their affiliation with this religious institution, because of their beliefs,” Hawley continued.

Nashville Police Chief John Drake said during a press briefing Monday that The Covenant School was “the only school that was targeted.” (RELATED: Bodycam Footage Shows Nashville Cops Taking Out Trans Shooter)

Police said Hale, a former student at the school, may have also had plans to target a local mall and family members but was deterred because of “too much security.”

Authorities searched Hale’s home and found two more weapons and maps “pertaining to maybe some thinking about some other incidents,” according to CBS News.

“We strongly believe there was going to be some other targets, including maybe family members, and one of the malls here in Nashville,” Drake told the outlet, adding Hale possibly harbored “some resentment” pertaining to the school.