One Dead, Multiple Injured in Nashville Church Shooting

UPDATE #2: Law enforcement officials say a note found in the car of Emanuel Kidega Samson indicates the shooting was revenge for the 2015 mass shooting at Emanuel AME church in Charleston, South Carolina that killed nine black people.

UPDATE: The Memphis office of the FBI and the U.S. attorney’s office for middle Tennessee have opened a civil rights investigation. They declined to comment further.

September 24, 2017 A gunman opened fired inside of a Nashville area church on Sunday morning, killing one person and injuring seven others.

A Metro Nashville Police spokesperson confirmed that at approximately 11:15 a.m. Sunday Morning, officers responded to calls of shots fired and several people injured at Burnette Chapel Church of Christ in Antioch, Tennessee.

The gunman, identified as Emanuel Kidega Samson, a 25-year-old Rutherford County man, accidentally shot himself in the left chest during an altercation with an usher from the church. The Metro Nashville Police announced via Twitter that Samson has been treated and released from Vanderbilt University Medical Center. He will be charged with one count of murder and six attempted murder charges.

The Metro Nashville Police Department has identified the woman killed in the church parking lot as Melanie Smith, 39, of Smyrna.

A spokesman for Vanderbilt University Medical Center said two of the victims are critically injured, with four others in stable condition. The two critical patients suffered gunshot wounds to the chest and torso. The four other patients suffered gunshot wounds to their extremities.

Police have not established a motive for the shooting. Samson first shot and killed a woman in the parking lot of the church as the service was ending, then entered the rear sanctuary doors of the church and began “indiscriminately” shooting.

Approximately 50 people, all adults—many elderly were in the church at the time of Sunday’s shooting.

In July, 2015, nine people were shot during a Wednesday night Bible study at Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in South Carolina. The shooter, later identified as Dylann Roof, a 21-year-old white man with a history of anti-black views.

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