A grieving twin has lashed out at ‘disgusting’ suggestions that her sibling’s tragic car crash death last year somehow triggered The Covenant School massacre.
Trans shooter Audrey Hale was said to have been ‘infatuated’ with Sydney Sims who played on the same basketball team as her in middle school.
Sims’ sudden death in a horrifying head-on smash last August left Hale ‘heartbroken’ and could have sent her into a murderous spiral, according to a report published Wednesday.
But Sims’ twin sister Taylor Sims, 28, has ripped the story on a private Instagram message obtained by DailyMail.com.
‘Please don’t attach such a nasty, disgusting tragedy to my sister’s name,’ she wrote. ‘This is very sick and just goes to show people talk. Please leave my sister out of it.’
Samira Hardcastle, who attended the Nashville School of Arts with both girls, told the New York Post that Hale looked up to Sims and posted ‘heartbroken’ messages about her death on her now-deleted social media accounts.
‘I just feel like she took it differently than some of us did. She was still posting about Sydney almost daily.
‘What I knew of her was more admiring. Maybe even infatuation. That’s specifically who she really, really looked up to,’ she told the outlet.
Sims, who went to Tuskegee University on a basketball scholarship before working as a medical assistant and behavioral therapist, was driving a Nissan Duke when it was hit head on by a Hyundai Elantra in North Nashville.
The then-27-year-old was rushed to the hospital but died from her injuries along with a 20-year-old passenger from the Hyundai.
Hale sent Sims’ family a floral tribute and attended the funeral of her late friend, whom she played basketball with roughly 15 years earlier.
Sydney Sims died in a car crash last year, with Nashville shooter Audrey Hale said to have had a crush on her. Sydney’s surviving twin Taylor has denied the tragedy is what spurred Monday’s massacre
Taylor Sims angrily denied her sister Sydney’s death drove Nashville shooter Audrey Hale to kill in this angry Instagram message
Taylor Sims, pictured left with her father and late sister Sydney, has denied that her sister’s passing triggered the Nashville school shooting
She also attended the unveiling of a painting dedicated to Sims and posted a clip of herself silently bouncing a ball on TikTok with the caption: ‘For Syd. I look up the sky is bright. It’s a beautiful day. I wish you were here…’
Former friends have told DailyMail.com that while Hale may have had a crush on Sims in the past there was never any suggestion it was reciprocated.
Hale expressed similarly misplaced affection to another childhood friend, Averianna Patton, just 20 minutes prior to commencing her deranged shooting spree Monday at The Covenant School, killing three children and three adults.
‘This is my last goodbye. I love you,’ she messaged her on Instagram. ‘You are the most beautiful person I’ve ever seen and known all my life.’
Patton told CNN’s Don Lemon that she hadn’t had a relationship with the gunman since they were children.
Investigators are yet to release the manifesto warped Hale – who started going by the name Aiden and adopted he/him pronouns late last year – left behind before storming her former elementary school.
Hale, pictured, is believed to have been living as a transgender man called Aiden. She was shot dead by cops after murdering three children, two teachers and a custodian
Hale is pictured beginning her rampage at Covenant Academy in Nashville on Monday
DailyMail.com revealed earlier this week that her trans identity caused friction with her devout Christian parents who banned her from dressing as a male in their suburban Nashville home.
‘Truth is none of us know why she did that,’ Sims’ sister said of the rampage.
‘Nothing about what she [Hale] has done is Ok, we’ve not had any contact with that girl for years due to other things.
‘We all played middle school basketball together. That’s it and that is all. Granted everyone was welcomed to my sister’s funeral and that’s when we saw her for the first time in a while.
‘She then popped up uninvited to my sister’s painting that my mom held a few weeks ago (odd) and still don’t know how she found out.
‘So with all due respect don’t attach my family, especially my sister, to this mess.’
First Lady Jill Biden attended a vigil to the victims of the massacre in Nashville on Wednesday evening
Police confirmed on Tuesday that Hale had previously attended The Covenant School in Nashville, Tennessee, but her motive for the rampage was unclear.
Police Chief John Drake added that Hale had been suffering from an ’emotional disorder’ at the time of the shooting.
Hale has been described as having ‘high-functioning’ autism and police confirmed she was under doctors’ care.
Her parents – Norma and Ronald Hale – knew that she had a weapon at one time, but told her to sell it because they thought she couldn’t be trusted with it.
Instead, she hid her stockpile and added to it, buying seven different weapons in total from five local stores, police said.
Chief Drake added: ‘Law enforcement knew nothing about the treatment, and it is apparent that she should not own weapons.’