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Tennessee House Republicans have sent a letter to the Nashville chief of police asking for the release of the writings and toxicology reports for the trans-identifying shooter who killed six people at a Christian school in March.
Republicans at the state House, led by House Speaker Cameron Sexton and House Republican Caucus Chair Jeremy Faison, sent the letter on Monday saying the information is vital to understanding the killer’s motives before a special session called by Republican Governor Bill Lee.
“In order for this special session to be successful, it is paramount we understand the behavior and motives of the Covenant School perpetrator,” the letter says. “We respectfully request the release of the perpetrator’s writings as well as relevant medical records and toxicology reports.”
The letter, addressed to Chief John Drake, began by thanking Metro Nashville Police Department for its response to the mass shooting, which killed three 9-year-old students and three staff members.
“We are united in our shared common goal and duty to protect the safety and well-being of Tennesseans. The release of these records is critical to the General Assembly’s ability to construct effective solutions that can prevent future acts of violence. The citizens of this state and their elected representatives must have adequate time to review them,” the letter, signed by 66 Republican representatives, says.
Lee, who signed a $230 million bill that increases funding for school safety measures last week, has called a special session for August 21 to review potential gun legislation. The governor has asked for a type of “red flag” law that he has referred to as “an order of protection law.”
Republicans in the state assembly have so far resisted calls for red flag-style legislation, arguing that those policies infringe on Second Amendment rights. GOP lawmakers have also said they would like more details on the shooter’s motive before considering any legislation.
“The perpetrator of these horrific acts murdered six Christians and Tennesseans have demanded we take action,” Faison said Monday. “If we hope to pass meaningful legislation that effectively deters this kind of targeted attack, we must have all the facts to make informed decisions.”
Nashville police have refrained from releasing the killer’s manifesto, citing pending legal action. A Davidson County judge was given an unredacted copy on Friday to review.