Civics: FBI memo on Covenant Killer, Cited Destruction Precedent

Tom Pappert:

The Tennessee Star has obtained the FBI memo sent to the Metro Nashville Police Department (MNPD) on May 11, 2023 from a source familiar with the Covenant killer investigation.

The letterhead and heading used for the memo indicate it originated at the FBI’s Critical Incident Response Group in Quantico, Virginia. The opening paragraphs reveal it was sent by the FBI’s Behavioral Threat Assessment Center (BTAC), the home of the FBI’s Behavorial Analysis Unit (BAU-1). The memo was not signed.

The memo does not specifically mention Audrey Elizabeth Hale, who fatally shot three 9-year-old students and three faculty members in the devastating March 27, 2023 attack at the Covenant School in Nashville.

It was, however, sent two days after Star News Digital Media, Inc., which owns The Tennessee Star, and the company’s CEO, Michael Patrick Leahy, filed a lawsuit against the FBI in federal court to compel the release of Hale’s written documents, including those sometimes called a manifesto, and one day after Star News Digital Media, Inc. and Leahy filed a lawsuit against Metro Nashville Davidson County Government in state court for the same purpose.

The FBI’s Behavioral Analysis Unit has been involved in the MNPD’s investigation into the Covenant killings since the very first day, sources familiar with the investigation have told The Star. MNPD Public Affairs Director Don Aaron confirmed the FBI’s involvement in the investigation to The Star when asked about the FBI memo on Tuesday, though he did not specify the date at which that involvement began.

“As has been publicly acknowledged, the FBI’s Behavioral Analysis Unit has assisted in this Homicide investigation,” Aaron told The Star.