Legal Battle Unfolds Over Release of Nashville School Shooter’s Journals


A Tennessee judge is set to determine whether journals belonging to the Nashville school shooter should be made public records.

The hearing, which spans two days, commenced with attorney Lora Fox arguing that certain writings found in the shooter’s car could be released to the public without impeding the ongoing investigation into the tragic incident at the Covenant School on March 27, 2023.

While Metro Nashville Police contend that an exception in the Tennessee Public Records Act permits them to withhold the records until the investigation concludes, opposing counsel, including Peter Klett representing the Covenant School, cited a school safety exception to justify keeping the records private.

Klett expressed concerns that releasing the writings could potentially incite violence or inspire copycat incidents.

The push for the immediate release of the records comes from various quarters, including news outlets, a gun rights group, and Tennessee State Sen.

Todd Gardenhire, who argue that with the shooter deceased, there is no meaningful criminal investigation underway.

Attorney Nicholas Berry, representing Star News Digital Media, emphasized that the mere possibility of a future criminal proceeding is insufficient grounds to withhold the records.

The shooter, who allegedly identified as a transgender man, left behind numerous journals, a suicide note, and a memoir. Speculation surrounding the contents of these writings has been amplified, with some, like U.S. Sen. Josh Hawley, suggesting the shooting was a hate crime against Christians.

Adding complexity to the matter, a group of Covenant School parents have recently obtained ownership rights to the shooter’s writings, raising the possibility of copyright claims.

This aspect of the case is expected to be further explored during Wednesday’s continuation of the hearing.