A photo of a person holding a trans rights placard at a protest is being used to misidentify the individual and claim that they are Audrey Hale, the 28-year-old Nashville school shooter. BOOM found that the person was not Audrey Hale, and the photo is from a demonstration in Oklahoma that took place on the same day as the Nashville shooting.
On March 27, 2023, 28-year-old Audrey Hale opened fire at The Covenant School, a private Christian school in Nashville, Tennessee, killing three 9-year-old children and three staff members. Hale, too, was shot at the scene after the police arrived. Hale's gender identity has been a topic of conversation ever since it was revealed that he was a trans man.
The photo of the protestor is circulating in this backdrop to claim that Hale participated in a trans protest carrying a placard that read, "Trans rights... or else".
The tweet was shared by a user on Twitter with the caption, "This is the trans shooter, Audrey Hale. The Feds are in the middle of trying to scrub ALL of her social media & pictures from the internet. This person was a TRANS TERRORIST using that as a REASON to kill Christians, as the sign makes clear. “TRANS RIGHTS OR ELSE…” As a society, we have to STOP enabling MENTAL ILLNESS as “normal” Because it’s NOT. MAKE SURE THIS MAKES THE ROUNDS!!!"
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The post is also circulating on Facebook.
While going through the replies to the viral tweet, we found that a user, @ChesterTweet had called out the inauthentic photo and revealed that the person in the picture was participating in a demonstration in Oklahoma.
She also said that she herself had taken the photo when she attended the demonstration.
BOOM reached out to the user, Chelsea* (full name concealed to protect identity), who confirmed that the person in the photo was not the Nashville shooter.
Chelsea also shared via a direct message the metadata of the photo, which helps access more information about the image such as the date and location of the photo as well as the camera used to capture it.
According to this, the location of the photo is Oklahoma City and the date is March 27, which was also the day the shooting took place in Nashville, where Audrey Hale was present.
Chelsea explained how the image has been used maliciously ever since she shared it. "I was mass reported, locked out of my account, doxxed, harassed, and slandered," she added while explaining how the misinformation was getting out of hand.
Speaking about the protest itself, Chelsea said, "Everyone was kind to me. Some people claimed they were violent but that was not the case. They were loud, but they simply protested and marched."
A flyer was also circulated on Twitter by a group called @TransLoveOK, informing community members of the protest.
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