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

By: Arron Williams
March 31 2023

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


The Verdict False

The Nashville shooting was not a false flag operation; conspiratorial claims either lack evidence or have been debunked by photo analysis.

Claim ID 1c038e20


On March 27, 2023, a mass shooting occurred at the Covenant school in Nashville, Tennessee. The event left six people dead, including three children. Following the tragic event, conspiracy theorists on social media platforms such as TikTok, Twitter, and Rumble have claimed that the shooting was a false flag operation and staged event. These conspiracies use claims of crisis actors and discrepancies between security camera footage to support their false assertions. 

In Fact

There is no evidence that the Nashville shooting was a false flag. False flag claims have been made against past mass shootings but were found to be baseless conspiracy theories. A false flag, according to Snopes, historically refers to the method of disguising one's identity or affiliation for war and espionage. However, the term's modern usage has been co-opted to brand conspiracy theories claiming that tragedies like school shootings are hoaxes staged by the government or by nefarious shadow organizations.

Ashbey Beasley, who survived the 2022 Highland Park shooting, was present at Covenant school after the event and interrupted a news conference to talk about gun control. Conspiracy theorists stated without evidence that this was no coincidence, labeling her a crisis actor. Beasley stated on CNN that she was in Tennessee visiting her sister-in-law. According to the Guardian, crisis actor claims have been prevalent for some time and often accuse victims, witnesses, and victims' family members of being performers hired by the government after they stage a shooting. 

Other claims circulating to support the theory of a false flag event have focused on camera footage of the Nashville shooter. These claims suggest that security camera and police body camera footage show the shooter wearing different pairs of shoes; therefore, the body camera footage must be pre-recorded. France24 has analyzed the footage and debunked such claims. Through photo analysis, the shoes were revealed to be branded Vans in both sets of footage. The shooter was wearing flame-patterned Vans, and a black-and-white illusion occurred due to artificial lighting and image compression. 

Similar claims were made about the shooter's watch, which was apparently present on CCTV footage but not on the bodycam footage. The images shared were blurred due to image compression, making it impossible to determine whether the shooter was wearing a watch. Furthermore, a watch is easily removed and is not proof of a false flag operation.

A final claim concerns the number 33 as an indicator of a false flag operation. This follows the narrative of the victims being three adults and three children, accompanied by a 33 on the Covenant Church sign as evidence. It states 33 is Masonic Code and signals the school is a stage for a deceptive event. This is false and relates to the broader conspiracy theory that the Freemasons control world governments and orchestrate global events to establish a New World Order. Logically has previously investigated such claims and marked these as false.

The Verdict

False flag conspiracies surface around every mass shooting, but they are unfounded. There is no evidence that the Covenant school shooting was a false flag operation. Therefore, we have marked this claim as false.

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Global Fact-Checks Completed

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