Police have identified the gunman who shot a woman dead and injured six other churchgoers after he opened fire Sunday morning at a Tennessee church as services were ending.
The shooting at Burnett’s Chapel Church of Christ in Antioch, Tenn., started in the church’s parking lot, according to police and the Nashville Fire Department. Nashville Metro police spokesman Don Aaron said emergency calls came in around 11:15 a.m. as services were letting out.
The gunman, identified by police as 25-year-old Emanual Kidega Samson, arrived in the parking lot and first fatally fired at 39-year-old Melanie Smith, who was walking to her car, police said. Samson was wearing a neoprene half-mask and drove an SUV, Aaron said.
After gunning down the woman in the parking lot, Samson went inside through the rear of the church and began “indiscriminately shooting at people,” police said, wounding six people.
A church usher, identified as 22-year-old Robert Engle, ran up and confronted Samson and was subsequently pistol-whipped by him, police said. Samson was at some point shot in the left pectoral, though police still don’t know if the gun discharged on its own during Engle’s struggle with the suspect.