A masked gunman entered a small rural church in Tennessee on Sunday and shot nine people, including the pastor and his wife, before a member of the congregation tackled him in an attempt to fight him for his gun before the gunman accidentally shot himself in the struggle.
The shooting took place on Sunday morning at the Burnette Chapel Church of Christ 30 miles outside of Nashville, Tennessee in the town of Antioch.
The Tennessean reports:
One person was killed and eight others wounded Sunday after a masked man opened fire following a church service in Antioch.
The shooter, identified as Emanuel Kidega Samson, a 25-year-old Rutherford County man, accidentally shot himself after he was confronted by an armed member of the congregation. Samson was treated at an area hospital and was released into police custody, according to Metro Nashville Police.
Samson will be charged with one count of murder, additional charges will come later, police said. Police say he previously attended the church.
The woman killed has been identified as Melanie Smith, 39. Smith was a mother who lived in Smyrna.
“A gunman wearing a neoprene mask arrived in the parking lot and one woman who was walking to her vehicle was immediately fatally wounded by the gunman,” Metro Nashville Police Department spokesman Don Aaron said at a press conference.
The pastor shouted “Run, run, gunshots!” and congregants hid under pews or in bathrooms.
Robert Engle confronted Samson and attempted to wrestle the gun away from Samson. During that struggle, Samson was shot in the chest.
Following the shooting, Engle ran to his vehicle and retrieve his own weapon, holding Samson at gunpoint until police arrived.
Engle is being hailed as a hero and rightly so.
“He’s the hero. He’s the person who stopped this madness,” Metro Nashville Police Chief Steve Anderson said during a news conference.
As for Engle, he had been attending the Church since he was a small child. He issued a statement on Sunday evening.
“I ask everyone to pray for the victims, family members of the victims, our church community. Please pray for healing. Also, please pray for the shooter, the shooter’s family and friends. They are hurting as well,” Engle said.
“That’s like him. He’s just someone who cares about a lot of people. He has all their feelings at heart,” said Rheta Engle, 69, Engle’s grandmother.
The victims were identified in a follow-up story at The Tennessean:
- Linda Bush, 68, was shot and is in stable condition. As of Monday she remained hospitalized at Vanderbilt University Medical Center.
- Donald William Jenkins, 83, and his wife Marlene Jenkins, 84, were shot. Both remained hospitalized Monday at Vanderbilt University Medical Center in stable condition.
- David Joseph Spann, 66, and his wife Peggy Spann, 65, were shot and are in stable condition. As of Monday they remained hospitalized at Vanderbilt University Medical Center.
- Catherine Dickerson, 64, was shot and was taken to TriStar Skyline Medical Center.
- Robert “Caleb” Engle, 22, was pistol whipped after confronting the shooting suspect and is being called a “hero” by police. He was taken to TriStar Skyline Medical Center where he was treated and released Sunday night.
- Melanie Crow Smith, 39, died after being fatally shot outside the church as she left the building.
I’m just betting this shooting was the result of a Muslim who didn’t like Christians, even though he attended the church several years back. Newser reports:
Authorities identified the attacker as Emanuel Kidega Samson, 25, of Murfreesboro, who came to the US from Sudan in 1996 and is a legal US resident. According to an arrest affidavit, Samson waived his rights and told police he arrived at the church armed and fired upon the building Sunday.
No motive was immediately determined.
Church members told investigators the suspect had attended services a year or two ago.
Nashville police didn’t immediately comment on several bizarre posts on the suspect’s Facebook page in the hours before the shooting.
Police charged Samson with one count of murder and said multiple charges were pending. In addition, federal agents have opened a civil rights investigation into the shooting.
Nashville is a hotbed for Islamists. Don’t be surprised when the media attempts to cover this up just like they have every other Islamic jihad attack in the US and around the world.
All of this goes to show that the Churches should not play the victim when it comes to these types of situations. Here is a small rural church, like many in America, and look what took place because the people were not alert.
There’s nothing wrong with Christians carrying guns to church nor is there anything wrong with having a watchman at the door.