At least one woman was killed and seven people were injured Sunday when a masked gunman opened fire outside a Tennessee church, according to the Metro Nashville Police Department.
Police said the 25-year-old suspect, identified as Emanuel Kidega Samson, opened fire outside of Burnette Chapel Church of Christ as people were leaving the church following Sunday morning services. As of Sunday afternoon, the suspect was in custody after he reportedly shot himself — his injuries are not life-threatening and will be charged with one count of murder, police said.
What happened at the Antioch Church?
Around 11:15 a.m. Central Daylight Time, dispatchers began receiving calls of a shooting at Burnette Chapel Church of Christ in Antioch, Tenn. As of 11:40 a.m., the scene was still considered active.
The gunman arrived in a blue SUV and started unloading gunfire in the parking lot of the church, fatally striking one woman who was on her way to the car, according to a Nashville police press briefing. He then proceeded to fire multiple rounds inside the church.
A member of the church confronted the gunman inside and was pistol whipped. The churchgoer, who had a permit to carry a weapon, went to his car to retrieve his own gun. When he returned, he witnessed the gunman shoot himself, according to police.
The incident was described as a “mass casualty situation” with the wounded transported to area hospitals.
At about 1:40 p.m., the fire department announced that they had transported members of the church who weren’t injured in the shooting to a safe location.
Police are still investigating the shooting and interviewing witnesses.
Who was injured in the church shooting?
A female churchgoer was killed as she was leaving Burnette Chapel and six others were injured in the shooting, according to police
Three women and three men were among the injured, police said. All except one of the wounded was over 60 years old, according to a tweet from the Nashville Fire Department.
The gunman was also injured by a self-inflicted gun shot wound. His condition is still unknown, according to Nashville police.
Who was responsible for the Tennessee church shooting?
Authorities identified the gunman as Emanuel Kidega Samson, 25, of Murfreesboro, who came to the United States from Sudan in 1996 and was a legal U.S. resident.
His injuries have been described as non-life threatening and police said he was discharged from Vanderbilt University Medical Center, but remains in police custody.
The Metropolitan Nashville police tweeted Sunday night that Samson will be charged with one count of murder and that multiple “additional charges will be placed later.”
His connection to the church is unclear.
What was the response in Tennessee to the church shooting?
Nashville Major Megan Barry called the deadly shooting a “terrible tragedy for our city.”
“My heart aches for the family and friends of the deceased as well as for the wounded victims and their loved ones,” Barry said in the statement. “Their lives have been forever changed, as has the life of their faith community at Burnette Chapel Church of Christ. My administration, especially the Metro Nashville Police Department, will continue to work with community members to stop crime before it starts, encourage peaceful conflict resolution, and promote non-violence.