Nashville school shooter Audrey Hale would dress up as transgender star Elliot Page every Spirit Week before she started her transition, DailyMail.com can reveal.
Hale, 28, shot and killed three children and three members of staff at The Covenant School on Monday.
A school friend of Hale has now revealed that she loved to dress up as Page’s iconic character Juno – a pregnant teenager – during their time as freshmen at The Nashville School of Arts.
The shooter was even nicknamed Juno during their time at the school, with the friend adding that she ‘never dated’.
It comes after DailyMail.com revealed that Hale had issues with her parents after coming out as a lesbian, and would dress up in male clothing when her relatives left the house.
Pictures of Nashville school shooter Audrey Hale obtained by DailyMail.com showed her dressed up as trans star Elliot Page from Juno. Hale freshman year
Hale was born female but had recently begun using he/him pronouns and the name ‘Aiden’
Hale shot and killed Hallie Scruggs, William Kinney, Evelyn Dieckhaus, all 9, and headmistress Dr Katherine Koonce, 60, substitute teacher Cynthia Peak, 61, and chef Mike Hill, 61.
Speaking to DailyMail.com the Nashville School of the Arts alumni said: ‘She was known for dressing up as Juno for spirit week (character day) with the sweatbands and the baby bump and all.
‘It was hilarious. People called her Juno for years. She really was a funny person. I don’t think it’s sunk in that she could have caused such a tragedy. Especially looking through these memories.’
Her friend, who requested to remain anonymous, said Hale’s actions have left her former classmates in shock as they looked back at old yearbook photos between 2011 to 2014 and recalled the ‘nerdy’ girl they knew in school who made them laugh.
Elliot publicly came out as transgender and non-binary in December 2020 in a statement on social media, writing: ‘Hi friends, I want to share with you that I am trans, my pronouns are he/they and my name is Elliot.’
‘I feel lucky to be writing this. To have arrived at this place in my life,’ the actor added.
Prior to revealing he was transgender, Elliot was married to Emma Portner, 28, however, the two divorced in 2021, less than two months after he publicly came out.
The pair split before the actor came out as transgender, but Emma still ‘proudly’ supported the decision.
Hale was known to be an athlete at her high school and participated in basketball and track. A yearbook photo obtained by DailyMail.com showed Hale winning ‘Most Athletic’ alongside her another classmate
Hale was known for dressing up as trans actor Elliot Page for spirit week. Page previously went by Ellen before he transitioned to male
Hale with her older brother Scott, who has not commented on the shooting. Neighbors say Hale was ‘sweet’ and ‘quiet’
Despite cops confirming Hale was transgender, the suspect’s friend referred to her as ‘she/her’ because the 28-year-old was known as a female in high school.
Reflecting on high school memories, the friend recalled Hale’s open struggle with autism and mental health.
‘Her teachers said she was sweet but troubled, mostly because of her struggle with autism and depression,’ the friend told DailyMail.com.
‘She was known to have little bouts of frustration or anger. But for the most part like I’ve said before she was well liked and funny. ‘
Cops confirmed Hale was receiving treatment for an emotional disorder and described her as having ‘high-functioning’ autism. Despite this, Hale was able to legally purchase seven firearms.
Hale’s classmates said that they weren’t surprised when she came out as gay or when she later decided to transition.
The friend dished out Hale’s non-existent love life which appeared to remain stagnant throughout high school.
‘She never dated,’ the friend said. ‘We all kinda figured she would come out as gay, and no one was surprised when she came out as trans. But other than that she was very driven by sports.’
A yearbook photo obtained by DailyMail.com showed Hale winning ‘Most Athletic’ alongside another classmate.
Evelyn Dieckhaus, 9, was another victim shot on Monday. Her family said she died trying to save her friends
Posing sweetly with a bow in her hair, Audrey Hale was the picture of innocence in her eight-year-old yearbook photo from The Covenant School, the school she attacked yesterday
Hale struck a pose with a bicep curl while looking downward, and was known on the track field and the basketball court.
Her friend added: ‘She loved her basketball team and her senior art project was a colored pencil piece of her teammates, and drew a lot of team jerseys.
‘The[Martin Luther King Jr. School] (a sister magnet school) track team Lady royals and I have been talking and reminiscent today about our experience with her.
‘It’s all pleasant interactions. I don’t think anyone will have anything negative to say about her from those days.
‘Her immediate friend group were the nerdy kids, not weird or outcasts just typical anime obsessed good grades sweet kids.
‘Most of them were mass media/ theater kids. Which is probably why she was involved in after school programs and projects with the class representatives.’
Church coordinator Norma, 61, and her husband Ronald, 64, refused to let Hale – who had recently adopted the name Aiden and used he/him pronouns – dress as a man in their home.
The loner would instead wait until she left their $700,000 Nashville property to change outfits, according to a well-placed source.
Will Kinney, (pictured) was shot and killed along with Hallie Scruggs, both 9, in the massacre
Hallie Scruggs, 9, was killed in the shooting and is pictured with her father, a pastor at the church, Chad Scruggs
‘You only see what you want to see. Their religion does not allow them to accept homosexuality,’ the source told DailyMail.com.
‘She was Audrey at home but when she left the house she changed clothes. They did know about it, they just didn’t accept it.’
It comes after the six victims of the tragedy have been identified, with tributes flooding in for Evelyn who desperately tried to save her classmates from the tragedy.
Her family has described her as a ‘shining light’ and said that they are ‘completely broken’ by her death.
They added that she had been desperately trying to pull the fire alarm to get help when the shooting unfolded on Monday.
Tributes have flooded in for a second victim, Will Kinney, whose family called him ‘unfailingly kind’ and ‘always inclusive of others’ as well as praising him for loving his two younger sisters.
Hale used the names Audrey and Aiden but her preferred pronouns were he/him according to a LinkedIn page.
Ronald and Norma Hale told police they did not know Audrey still had any weapons
Dr. Katherine Koonce, head of school (left), and Cynthia Peak, a substitute teacher (right) were among those shot. Bill Lee revealed Koonce, Maria and Peak were all good friends
Police confirmed on Tuesday that she had previously attended the school in Nashville, Tennessee, but her motive for the shooting was unclear.
Police Chief John Drake added that Hale had been suffering from an ’emotional disorder’ at the time of the shooting
Hale has been described as having ‘high-functioning’ autism, but police revealed today she also was under doctors’ care.
Her parents – Norma and Ronald Hale – knew that she had a weapon at one time, but told her to sell it because they thought she couldn’t be trusted with it.
Instead, she hid her stockpile and added to it, buying seven different weapons in total from five local stores.
Mike Hill (center), who had worked at the school for more than a decade, was also killed in the mass shooting
Pictured: Community members from the Brookdale Senior Living home lay flowers at the front entrance to Covenant Presbyterian Church in Nashville
Chief Drake added: ‘Law enforcement knew nothing about the treatment, and it is apparent that she should not own weapons”.
Authorities also confirmed that Hale’s mother, Norma, had asked her what was in a red backpack she was carrying on the morning of the murders but she dismissed her question.
Yesterday, she took three of her weapons to The Covenant School – two rifles and a handgun.
Another two weapons were seen being removed from the house yesterday in a video obtained exclusively by DailyMail.com.
Police Chief Drake said of her family: ‘They felt she had one weapon and that she had sold it. She was under doctors’ care for an emotional disorder.
‘Her parents felt like she should not own weapons, and they were under the impression that she didn’t own any anymore. But she had been hiding several within the house.’