Gunshots, Then a Minister's Command to 'Run!'

Emanuel Kidega Samson is charged with murder after church shooting in Tennessee
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Sep 25, 2017 12:20 PM CDT
'Run!' Witnesses Recount Tennessee Church Shooting
A member of the Burnette Chapel Church of Christ hugs another church member at the scene after a deadly shooting at the church on Sunday in Antioch, Tenn.   (Andrew Nelles)

The minister shouted "Run, run, gunshots!" and congregants hid under pews or in bathrooms as a masked man armed with two guns opened fire at a Tennessee church, killing one person and wounding six before being subdued. Burnette Chapel Church of Christ member Minerva Rosa tells the AP that members were talking about the success of their yard sale the previous day when they heard gunshots Sunday outside the building in a Nashville neighborhood. The church minister, David Spann, 60, then shouted for everyone to run, according to a witness. The gunman entered the church from the back after fatally shooting a woman outside, police said. He then walked through the church silently, shooting six more people before an usher subdued him, police said. Police later recovered another pistol and a shotgun from the suspect's vehicle.

Authorities identified the attacker as Emanuel Kidega Samson, 25, of Murfreesboro, who came to the US from Sudan in 1996 and is a legal US resident. According to an arrest affidavit, Samson waived his rights and told police he arrived at the church armed and fired upon the building Sunday. No motive was immediately determined. Church members told investigators the suspect had attended services a year or two ago. Nashville police didn't immediately comment on several bizarre posts on the suspect's Facebook page in the hours before the shooting. Melanie Smith, 39, of Smyrna, Tenn., was killed when the shooter opened fire in the parking lot. Police charged Samson with one count of murder and said multiple charges were pending. In addition, federal agents have opened a civil rights investigation into the shooting. (Read more Tennessee stories.)

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