A 25-year-old Sudanese man has been identified as the shooter who opened fire Sunday morning inside a church in Tennessee, killing a woman and wounding six others before accidentally shooting himself when he was confronted by an usher, police say.
The usher had been pistol whipped in the parking lot and went to his car to get his gun. That’s how the gunman was eventually stopped — by the brave usher with a gun.
On the other hand, the mayor sees another path to stopping mad gunmen. She is going to stop crime before it starts. The mayor wrote:
“This is a terrible tragedy for our city. My heart aches for the family and friends of the deceased as well as for the wounded victims and their loved ones,” Nashville Mayor Megan Barry said in a statement. “Their lives have been forever changed, as has the life of their faith community at Burnette Chapel Church of Christ.
“My administration, especially the Metro Nashville Police Department, will continue to work with community members to stop crime before it starts, encourage peaceful conflict resolution, and promote non-violence,” Barry said.
And get a gun.
The suspect, Emanuel Kidega Samson, is under police guard at Vanderbilt University Medical Center with non-life-threatening injuries, the Nashville Metro Police Department said. He is a former member of the church, police said. He hasn’t, however, been seen for a long time, perhaps a year or two.
The killer arrived as parishioners were letting out. The woman killed in the shooting has been identified by her family as Melanie Crow Smith, 39, of Smyrna. She was shot while walking to her car. Samson then left her and went into the church armed with two guns and opened fire.
Officers were called to the Burnette Chapel Church of Christ in Antioch about 11:15 a.m. for a report of an active shooter, police said. The suspect was being held at gunpoint by the usher.
In addition to the murdered woman two are critically injured with gunshots to their chest and torso. Another four suffered gunshot wounds to their extremities. A seventh victim is in a different medial facility, condition unknown.
Surviving victims include Minister Joey Spann, who is in critical condition, and his wife, Peggy Spann, 65, who is in stable condition.
The motive for the shooting has not been released.
Some posts on his Facebook page, now taken down, might give a clue.
He posted on August 31, “While y’all shcleeep 😴,” along with a report President Trump clearing the way for military weapons to be given to local police.
He also posted about a recent story where a police officer told a white woman that “we only kill white people,” during a traffic stop. Samson commented, “Regardless of your energy/intentions behind such statements, the principle remains B.”
[B seems to stand for body builder]
The Civil Rights Division is investigating this case.
HOW SAMSON WAS BROUGHT DOWN
Samson, a legal resident, came wearing a ski mask, a caller to 911 thought was a clown mask.
According to police, the gunman shot himself after he was confronted by a church member, 22-year-old Robert Engle, who went to his car and retrieved a gun. Engle has a permit to carry the handgun, authorities said.
“The gunman was wounded by a self-inflicted shot,” a police spokesman said. “He too has been taken to the hospital. One of the church members, upon seeing the gunman doing this action inside the church, ran up and confronted him. He was pistol-whipped by the gunman,” Aaron told reporters.
Police said the gunman then accidentally shot himself in the leg. The member of the church who confronted him was an usher, according to police. He has a permit to legally carry a handgun, and ran to his car to retrieve his gun after being struck by the shooter. He then went back into the church and held the shooter at gunpoint, police said. Aaron called him an “exceptionally brave individual.” He was bleeding from the head, but was able to talk to police and walk into an ambulance on his own.
Unfortunately, the gunman will be fine.
Shortly before the shooting, he wrote on Facebook, “You are more than what they told us.” At 10:22 a.m., he wrote, “Become the creator instead of what’s created .
Whatever you say, goes.”
He also posted this:
And this, his last post at 10:26: