Suspect Identified in Tennessee church shooting

ANTIOCH, Tenn. – At least one person was killed and eight others injured in what officials are calling a “mass casualty” incident at a church in Antioch, Tennessee on Sunday.

Metro police responded to Burnette Chapel Church of Christ around 11 a.m. this morning.

The preliminary investigation shows the gunman–identified as Emanual Kidega Samson, 25–arrived at the church in a blue SUV wearing a mask.

Police said he immediately confronted a woman outside the church, shooting her at least one time, killing her on the scene. Her name has yet to be released.

Samson is accused of then going inside the church and opening fire. Six people were injured. Those victims were identified as the minister, Joey Spann; his wife, Peggy Spann; William Jenkins, 83; his wife Marlene Jenkins, 84; Linda Bush, 68; and Katherine Dickerson, 64.

Scene of the shooting at Burnette Chapel Church of Christ [via WKRN]
Police spokesman Don Aaron said the usher of the church—identified as 22-year-old Robert Engle—then confronted the gunman and was pistol-whipped, receiving a “significant injury to his head.”

At some point during the confrontation, authorities say the gunman then shot himself, but it’s unclear if it was intentional.

Aaron said the usher, who has a valid carry permit, then went out to his car and retrieved his own gun, holding it on the gunman until police arrived. Police described Engle as “extraordinarily brave” for his actions.

Five of the shooting victims, as well as the gunman, were taken to Vanderbilt University Medical Center for treatment. As of 3:30 p.m., Minister Spann was listed as critical while everyone else was considered stable.

The usher and the final shooting victim were taken to TriStar Skyline Medical Center where they were last listed as stable.

Metro police said Samson was given an all-clear at the hospital around 3:30 p.m. and would be immediately taken into custody upon his discharge.

Warrants were being drawn against Sampson for one count of homicide and several counts of attempted homicide.


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