Police in Nashville, Tennessee, said they placed seven employees on “administrative assignments” days after the writings of a shooter who killed six people at The Covenant School were posted online.
The Metropolitan Nashville Police Department is continuing its investigation into who posted the writings, it confirmed Wednesday. A department spokesperson said it was placing the seven people on leave to “protect the integrity of the active and ongoing investigation.”
The seven employees have full police powers, the spokesperson said.
The move to place the group on administrative assignment was “absolutely non-punitive,” the spokesperson added. To be fair to those seven people, the police department is not identifying any of them by name, according to the statement.
On Monday, a conservative podcast and YouTube show host posted three images online that purported to be writings from Covenant school shooter Audrey Hale, 28. The images appeared to show writings about a school shooting taking place on a specific date.
News21USA News has not confirmed whether the documents are authentic.
Hale was killed by police after opening fire on March 27 at a private Christian school in Nashville, killing three children and three adults. The shooter had been a student at the school.
Nashville Mayor Freddie O’Connell on Monday called for a full investigation into the images and told Metro Nashville Legal Director Wally Dietz “to launch an investigation into how these images could have been released.”
“I am deeply concerned for the safety and well-being of the Covenant families and all Nashville residents who are grieving,” O’Connell said in a statement.
Parents whose children were at The Covenant School at the time of the shooting filed a motion seeking to keep the writings secret.
A parent spokesperson on Monday called the person who publicly posted images of the writings “a viper” and said the person “posted evidence that was gathered at our most vulnerable moment.”
“Now you have allowed [the shooter]who terrorized our family with bullets, so he could now terrorize us with words from the grave,” said spokesman Brent Leatherwood, whose three children were in school and survived.
David Raybin, a lawyer for Hale’s parents, said he could not speak about the shared images, citing legal proceedings.
“We’ve never seen any manifesto,” Raybin said. “We are also not in a position to authenticate these pieces of paper.”