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The Tennessee Conservative [By Adelia Kirchner] –
Debate continues over whether The Covenant School shooter’s writings should be released to the public or not, after three adults and three nine-year-old children were shot and killed in March of this year.
According to Metro Nashville Police Chief John Drake, the shooter kept a detailed map, known entry points, drawings of The Covenant School, and journals related to the shooting.
It’s now been two months since the issue was brought to court and one lawyer has relayed that the case may not come to a close for another three years.
Some of the organizations suing the Metro government for a public records release include The Nashville Police Association and the Tennessee Firearms Association (TFA).
According to John Harris, an attorney representing TFA, “Depending on the path [the court case] takes, it could easily be 2026” before it comes to a close. The Appeals Court does not currently have a deadline.
Harris told FOX 17 News that he did not expect the process to take so long.
“These cases were filed, and we expected that the show cause hearings would’ve taken place as initially scheduled back in May,” said Harris. “Here we are almost two months later, and the case is nowhere near resolution.”
In the initial aftermath of the March 27th shooting, Metro Police cited an open criminal investigation as their reason for not releasing the writings, but Harris does not think this reasoning holds up since the shooter is dead and there is no other person of interest.
Harris is one of many who feel that the Metro Police should comply with The Tennessee Public Records Act and release the writings to the public.
Dr. Erika Felix, a University of California at Santa Barbara clinical psychologist, believes that releasing the writings to the public is unnecessary but that law enforcement and emergency management organizations, whose role it is to keep schools safe, should be the ones to have access to the information.
Once lawsuits were initiated, the school shooter’s parents transferred ownership of their child’s writings to the Covenant families in an attempt to stop the release.
The judge did allow The Covenant School, church, and families to weigh in on the issue.
It seems most of them do not want the writings released to the public and feel that doing so may result in sensitive details being shared and possibly the occurrence of copycat school shootings.
The petitioners appealed the judge’s decision to allow this, which has resulted in the case being paused for now.
When asked if the petitioners are responsible for the length of the legal case, Harris said he didn’t think so.
“Two of the petitioners are news media outlets and they were extremely concerned with the intervention issues because it proposes to create new exceptions to the public records act that had never existed,” said Harris.
It has also come out that The Covenant School shooter had “mysterious” handwritten notes all over the clothes she wore on the day of the shooting. These included “handwritten words, drawings, and numbers.”
According to the autopsy report conducted by Dr. Emily Dennison the day after the shooting, there was also a knife inscribed with the preferred male name, Aiden, on it and an orange plastic anklet with the number “508407” etched into it, on her person at the time.
The shooter was stopped and killed by Metro Police during the shooting and cause of death has been determined “homicide by gunshot wounds.”
Toxicological analysis found no detection of drugs or alcohol, but prescription drugs were not tested for.
About the Author: Adelia Kirchner is a Tennessee resident and reporter for the Tennessee Conservative. Currently the host of Subtle Rampage Podcast, she has also worked for the South Dakota State Legislature and interned for Senator Bill Hagerty’s Office in Nashville, Tennessee. You can reach Adelia at firstname.lastname@example.org.