A former middle school basketball teammate of The Covenant School shooter reportedly received a chilling message from the killer right before the deadly rampage — a digital suicide note that sparked a quick-thinking attempt to stop the assailant according to FaithWire.
Averianna Patton told WTVF-TV she received a message on her phone around 9:57 am from alleged shooter Audrey Hale just minutes before Hale purportedly entered the school at 10:13 am.
“I’m planning to die today,” the message read in part. “THIS IS NOT A JOKE!!!! You’ll probably hear about me on the news after I die.” Patton told the outlet she tried to encourage Hale and comfort the purported shooter.
“I tried to comfort and encourage [Hale] and subsequently reached out to the Suicide Prevention Help Line after being instructed to by my father at 10:08 am,” she said. “Audrey has shared with others that she had been suicidal in the past, and I knew to take this serious.” Screenshots of the reported conversation show Patton trying to reason with the assailant.
“Audrey! You have so much more life to live,” she wrote. “I pray God keeps and covers you.” But, after saying this was the “last goodbye,” Hale discussed not wanting to live anymore.
“I don’t want to live,” Hale wrote. “I’m so sorry. I’m not trying to upset you or get attention. I just need to die.” Patton also reportedly called Nashville Davidson County Sheriff’s Office and said she was told to call a non-emergency number, though it was reportedly too late, according to WTVF-TV.
“My heart is with all of the families affected, and I’m devastated by what has happened,” Patton said, noting she later learned of the shooting and the accused’s involvement. Patton told CNN she’s not sure why Hale chose her to contact.
As CBN’s Faithwire reported, six people were murdered during Monday’s mass shooting. Three 9-year-old children – Hallie Scruggs, Evelyn Dieckhaus, and William Kinney — were killed. Three adults at the school also lost their lives: Cynthia Peak, 61, Katherine Koonce, 60, and Mike Hill, 61.