Note in Tenn. Church Suspect's Car Referenced Revenge

The note could offer a glimpse into Emanuel Kidega Samson's mindset
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Sep 30, 2017 5:00 AM CDT
Note in Tenn. Church Suspect's Car Mentioned Roof Massacre
This undated photo provided by Metro Nashville Police Department shows Emanuel Kidega Samson.   (Metro Nashville Police Department via AP)

A note found in the car of a man charged with spraying deadly gunfire at a Tennessee church made reference to revenge for white supremacist Dylann Roof's massacre at a black church in Charleston, South Carolina, two years earlier, law enforcement officials told the AP. The note could offer a glimpse into Emanuel Kidega Samson's mindset at the time of Sunday's shooting and a possible motive for the rampage, which left a woman dead and six other people wounded. The AP has not viewed the note, but it was summarized in an investigative report circulating among law enforcement. The report said that "in sum and in no way verbatim," the note referenced revenge or retaliation for Roof.

It wasn't clear what precisely Samson is alleged to have written about the Roof shooting, or whether his note contained other important details that might also speak to a motivation or state of mind. Police have said Samson, masked and wearing a tactical vest, fatally shot a woman who was walking to her vehicle and then entered the rear of Burnette Chapel Church of Christ and shot six others, walking silently down the aisles with a .40-caliber handgun. But unlike the killings at Charleston's Emanuel AME Church, which is mostly black, Burnette Chapel in the Nashville neighborhood of Antioch has a diverse congregation with people of various ethnicities. Church members told investigators that Samson had attended services a year or two ago. All the victims were white, but it is not clear whether Samson specifically targeted them based on their race. (More church shootings stories.)

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