Debunked: The False Narratives About 2023 Nashville Mass Shooting

Debunked: The false narratives about the 2023 Nashville mass shooting

By: sam doak&
April 5 2023

Share Article: facebook logo twitter logo linkedin logo
Debunked: The false narratives about the 2023 Nashville mass shooting

On March 27, 2023, a shooter entered Covenant School in Nashville, Tennessee. Six people, including three children, were killed before the perpetrator was fatally wounded in a confrontation with responding police officers.

In the days since the shooting, numerous false narratives have circulated online. These have led some to question numerous key details, including the alleged perpetrator’s identity, the responses of family members and politicians, and even whether the tragic events were staged as a "false flag."

While it is common for false and unsubstantiated claims to be shared after a mass shooting, discourse concerning the gender identity of the alleged perpetrator has fueled speculation and motivated some to introduce false narratives in order to forward political objectives.

Since March 27, Logically has been working to address some of the more prevalent false and unsubstantiated claims that have arisen concerning the recent tragedy in Nashville.

The Covenant school shooting in Nashville, Tennessee was not a false flag

It is common for tragic events such as mass shootings to be falsely portrayed as "false flag" attacks. In this instance, social media users on platforms including TikTok, Twitter, and Rumble relied upon CCTV footage, video captured by police body cameras, and other purported evidence to claim that the false narrative that the shooting was staged or otherwise planned by officials.

Logically reviewed much of the material cited by conspiracy theorists as proof of a "false flag" event. None of this substantiated the narratives put forward by conspiracy theorists in recent days. These claims are baseless, and there is no evidence that authorities have been purposely promoting a false version of events as claimed.

Read the full fact check here.

A fake tweet falsely claimed the father of a murdered girl in Tennessee vowed to fight "trans evil"

In the days since the mass shooting at Covenant School, the gender identity of the alleged perpetrator has been the focus of a significant amount of speculation and debate. Against this backdrop, an image designed to resemble a screenshot of a tweet by a local news station was shared widely on Twitter. The text shown in the image stated that the father of one of the victims had called for "an end to tolerance" and vowed, "to fight with every fiber of my being for the end of the trans evil."

Logically searched the social media channels linked to the news organization in question and could find nothing resembling the statement shown in this image. In a public statement, the organization clarified no such tweet was posted through their account.

Read the full fact check here.

No, Senator Ted Cruz doesn’t tweet the same message after every mass shooting incident in the U.S.

Throughout last week, Ted Cruz was subjected to criticism for what many appeared to believe was his response to the events in Nashville. This was due to a social media user creating a collage of tweets, portrayed as proof that the Senator reuses the same statement whenever a mass shooting occurs. Logically reviewed Cruz’s Twitter profile and found that this is false. The image in question is largely composed of images that do not correspond with statements shared on his Twitter account. There is no evidence that Cruz uses a template or otherwise recycles messages of condolence in response to mass shootings.  

Read the full fact check here.

Norm Macdonald did not tweet about the possibility of a transgender person committing a mass shooting before his death

Shortly after news reports of the shooting emerged, there was some confusion in the media concerning the gender identity of the alleged perpetrator. While there was initial confusion concerning this topic, with police initially using female pronouns when describing the suspected shooter, it was later reported that they identified as a transgender man. While the gender identity of the perpetrator has not been fully clarified, an image was widely circulated online by those decrying what was framed as undue deference on the part of the media and authorities.  

The image in question was designed to resemble a tweet by Norm Macdonald in which the late comedian speculated about the possibility of a transgender person committing a mass shooting and ridiculed the idea that misgendering such a person would be an issue. While this was shared widely, Logically found that this image is fake and that MacDonald never tweeted anything to this effect.  

Read the full fact check here.

Twitter users have falsely claimed a photograph shows a hospital room used to care for a victim of the recent shooting in Nashville

In the wake of the mass shooting, long-standing debates concerning gun controls in the United States re-emerged. In an apparent attempt to make a point about the lethality of the AR-15 – the weapon used in this instance – a Twitter user posted an image of a bloodied room in what appears to be a hospital. Claiming that the photograph was taken in Nashville, they stated that it depicted the room where one of the victims was treated and decried "the damage an AR-15 does to a human body."

Using a reverse image search, Logically found that the photograph was not taken in Nashville as claimed. While it was not possible to verify the exact location shown, it was first uploaded in 2019 by a Facebook account affiliated with the Pakistan Institute of Medical Sciences.

Read the full fact check here.

The Nashville school shooter has been falsely identified as Samantha Hyde on social media

Shortly after news of the shooting was reported, an image began circulating that many social media users claimed showed the perpetrator. Users that shared this photograph identified the person shown as "Samantha Hyde," but provided no corroborated evidence.

Logically found that this claim is a variation on a hoax that has been repeated following a number of mass shootings. The image in question is an edited photograph of the comedian Sam Hyde, first uploaded in 2015. In this instance, it appears that news concerning the alleged perpetrator’s gender identity inspired those behind the hoax to change his name to "Samantha" and add feminine characteristics to the photograph of Hyde.  

Read the full fact check here.

Would you like to submit a claim to fact-check or contact our editorial team?

Global Fact-Checks Completed

We rely on information to make meaningful decisions that affect our lives, but the nature of the internet means that misinformation reaches more people faster than ever before