25 September 2017
By Sunday Elom
A masked gunman identified as Emanuel Kidega Samson, 25, succeeded in killing a woman in the parking lot of a Tennessee church on Sunday morning. He also wounded six worshipers inside the building before shooting himself in a scuffle with an usher who rushed to stop the attack.
The shooter, according to Metropolitan Nashville Police Spokesman, Don Aeron walked into Nashville’s Burnette Chapel Church of Christ wearing a ski mask and opened fire.
As the church usher grappled with the suspect, he was struck in the head with the gunman’s weapon before the suspect fired and wounded himself in the chest, police said.
The usher, 22-year-old Robert Engle, amidst injuries retrieved a gun from his vehicle, re-entered the sanctuary and held the suspect at bay until police arrived.
Aaron, the police spokesman described the usher as “An exceptionally brave Individual.” About 50 people were worshipping at the church when the gunman entered.
According to a police statement, Samson was armed with two pistols and had another handgun and a rifle in his sport utility vehicle.
Police said they had not determined the motive behind the shooting, but the spokesman said evidence was found that might establish why the man opened fire.
Church members through police statement said Samson attended the church in the past, but not recently.
A churchgoer, Melanie Smith, 39, of Smyrna, Tennessee, was fatally shot in the parking lot, where she was found lying next to the suspect’s blue SUV. The church’s pastor, Joey Spann, was shot in the chest and is being treated at a hospital.
Police said Samson was treated at a hospital and transferred to a jail, and eventually charged with murder, and authorities planned to bring other charges against him.