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Police Name Suspect in Tennessee Church Shooting

Police Name Suspect in Tennessee Church Shooting
Emanuel Kidega Samson (Metro Nashville Police Department via AP)

Sunday, 24 September 2017 05:09 PM

Police have released the identity of a suspect in a Tennessee church shooting.

Metropolitan Nashville police spokesman Don Aaron identified the suspect as 25-year-old Emanuel Kidega Samson of Murfreesboro.

Aaron says Samson has been discharged from Vanderbilt University Hospital and charging warrants are being obtained.

Aaron says the gunman arrived in the parking lot as services were being let out Sunday at the Burnette Chapel Church of Christ. Aaron said a woman who was walking to her vehicle was fatally shot.

Aaron said an usher at the church confronted the gunman and then was pistol-whipped. During an altercation, the gunman shot himself.

Aaron said it was unclear whether the self-inflicted wound was intentional.

The gunman and five others were treated for gunshot wounds at Vanderbilt University Medical Center, Aaron said. One gunshot victim and the man who was pistol-whipped were taken to Skyline Medical Center for treatment.

Aaron said he was "not aware" of any relationship between the alleged gunman and any of the worshippers inside the church. Congregants who witnessed the shootings were being interviewed by investigators.

No motive for the shooting was immediately determined. Aaron said as many as 50 people were in the church at the time of the shooting, and that all victims were adults.

The small, yellow brick church describes itself on its website as a "friendly, Bible based group of folks who love the Lord and are interested in spreading His Word to those who are lost."

Photos on the church's Facebook page show a diverse congregation with people of various ages and ethnicities.

A witness called the usher who confronted a gunman "a hero."

Minerva Rosa has been a member at the Burnette Chapel Church of Christ in the Nashville neighborhood of Antioch for eight years. She was inside when a suspect opened fired Sunday.

Rosa says the suspect said nothing as he shot churchgoers. As the gunman made his way down the aisle, Rosa says the pastor started shouting, "'Run! Run! Gunshots!"

Rosa says without the usher, the situation "could be worse."

Aaron didn't immediately identify the usher but calls him "an extraordinarily brave individual."

Nashville Mayor Megan Barry called the shooting "a terrible tragedy for our city."

Barry said her "heart aches for the family and friends of the deceased as well as for the wounded victims and their loved ones. Their lives have been forever changed, as has the life of their faith community at Burnette Chapel Church of Christ."

She said her administration "will continue to work with community members to stop crime before it starts, encourage peaceful conflict resolution, and promote non-violence."

© Copyright 2018 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

   
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Police have released the identity of a suspect in a Tennessee church shooting.Metropolitan Nashville police spokesman Don Aaron identified the suspect as 25-year-old Emanuel Kidega Samson of Murfreesboro.Aaron says Samson has been discharged from Vanderbilt University...
US, Tennessee, Church, Shooting, The, Latest
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2017-09-24
Sunday, 24 September 2017 05:09 PM
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