News

Actions

She checked her Instagram. She didn't expect a message from The Covenant School shooter.

Screen Shot 2023-03-27 at 10.40.56 PM.png
Posted at 10:41 PM, Mar 27, 2023

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — At 9:57 a.m., a former middle school basketball teammate of Audrey Hale looked at her phone to find a message from The Covenant School shooter on Instagram.

Averianna Patton said she saw the message that Hale planned to die by suicide and that Patton would see it on the news. In the messages Patton provided to NewsChannel 5, Hale told Patton she would see her again in another life. Hale told Patton about no longer wanting to live and the need to die.

"One day this will make more sense," Hale wrote. "I've left behind more than enough evidence behind. But something bad is about to happen."

text1.jpeg
The screenshot between Hale and Patton on the morning of The Covenant School shooting on Monday, March 27, 2023.

Patton still can't believe she was one of the last people to have some contact to the Covenant School shooter.

The two played basketball together at IT Creswell Middle School years ago.

"I am trying to wrap my mind around it all, how I’m involved, how I’m sent the message. I got a lot of questions and I'm giving them to God."

Hale was right, Patton found out later on the news.

"I had no clue it was her. I had, we knew it was a shooting, but I didn’t know that that message was tied to the actual physical what happened, tragedy," said Patton.

It's something Patton is still trying to wrap her mind around, knowing she did all could do to help.

"Spiritually it’s eating me, it’s eating me alive right now right now because I'm trying to make God help me wrap my mind around what, what is this God."

Patton says she just hopes this is a warning to others.

"My message to you guys would be to say something. I don't care how minimal or how big or how you personally feel about it. If you have something of someone saying I need help, I'm about to harm myself, say something. "

The Covenant School — a private Christian School in Green Hills — experienced a mass shooting on Monday, when students and staff died on the campus. Three children died and three staff members died.

Hale said family had no idea what was about to happen.

"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 said to NewsChannel 5.

text2.jpeg
A screenshot of the messages between Patton and Hale before The Covenant School shooting on Monday, March 27, 2023.

Patton said she called the Nashville Davidson County Sheriff's Office to make them aware of the situation and was instructed to call Nashville's non-emergency number. By then, MNPD says it was too late.

"After phone calls from friends and Audrey's name was released as the shooter at Covenant Nashville school, I learned that Audrey was the shooter and that she had reached out to me prior to the shooting," Patton said. "My heart is with all of the families affected and I'm devastated by what has happened."


Get NewsChannel 5 Now, wherever, whenever, always free.

Watch the live stream below, and download our apps on Roku, Apple TV, Amazon Fire TV and more. Click here to learn more.