A former basketball teammate of Nashville Christian school shooter Audrey Hale has come forward and said she texted her before carrying out a mass shooting that left three children and three adults dead on Monday.
Averianna Patton, a former teammate and classmate of Hale, said she received messages from Hale, whose Instagram profile used the name “Aiden.” Officials said that Hale was biologically female, while a police spokesperson said she identified as male.
“So basically that post I made on here about you, that was basically a suicide note. I’m planning to die today,” Hale wrote, according to messages that Patton provided to local outlet NewsChannel 5.
“THIS IS NOT A JOKE!!!” wrote Hale. “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,” Haley wrote, signing the message as “Audrey (Aiden).” Based on the message, screenshots of which were posted online, it’s was not clear that Hale was planning on committing a mass shooting.
In her response, Patton attempted to give Hale a positive message and encouragement. “Audrey! You have so much more life to live. I pray God keeps and covers you,” she wrote back.
In response, Hale wrote that: “I know but I don’t want to live. I’m so sorry. I’m not trying to upset you or get attention. I just need to die. I wanted to tell you first because you are the most beautiful person I’ve ever seen and known all my life.” She added: “My family doesn’t know what I’m about to do. One day this will make more sense. I’ve left more than enough evidence behind. But something bad is about to happen.”
After the exchange, Patton said she communicated with the Suicide Prevention Help Line.
“I tried to comfort and encourage her and subsequently reached out to the Suicide Prevention Help Line after being instructed to by my father at 10:08 am. Audrey has shared with others that she had been suicidal in the past and I knew to take this serious,” Patton remarked.
Patton added that she called the Nashville Davidson County Sheriff’s Office to alert them about Hale’s situation before she was told to call the non-emergency number.