(WND) One woman was killed and eight people, including the 25-year-old gunman from Sudan, were injured in what officials are calling a “mass casualty” incident at a church in Antioch, Tennessee, Sunday morning.
Nashville Police have identified the suspect in the mass shooting at the Church of Christ as Emanuel Kidega Samson.
Samson is being charged with murder and multiple counts of attempted murder in the attack that killed one and left at least seven other people injured at the Burnette Chapel Church of Christ, just south of Nashville.
Samson is a bodybuilder who attended high school in Tennessee and is originally from Karthoum, Sudan, according to screenshots of the suspect’s Facebook page, which has since been taken down.
Police say Samson attended Burnette Chapel a year or two ago, according to congregants, though they had not seen him there in quite a while. He came to the United States from Sudan in 1996, and is a legal U.S. resident, though investigators have not yet confirmed whether he is a citizen.
Just before the shooting, Samson posted this message on his Facebook page: “Everything you’ve ever doubted or made to be believe as false, is real. & vice versa, B.”
Samson posted photos of himself posing at a gym Sunday morning, with the caption “Unrestricted, paroxysm.”
The gunman confronted a woman outside the church, shooting her at least one time, killing her on the scene.
The gunman reportedly then went inside and opened fire. At least six people were injured in the shooting spree
Police spokesman Don Aaron said the usher of the church – identified as 22-year-old Robert Engle – confronted the gunman and was pistol-whipped, receiving a “significant injury to his head.” At some point during the confrontation, authorities say the gunman then shot himself, but it’s unclear if it was intentional.
Aaron said the church usher, who has a valid carry permit, then went out to his car and retrieved his own gun, holding it on the gunman until police arrived. Police described him as a “extraordinarily brave.”
Five of the shooting victims as well as the gunman and the usher were taken to hospital for treatment. Hospital officials say all those wounded are expected to survive.
The Burnette Chapel Church of Christ was founded in 1862, reports the Tennessean. The congregation is led by Pastor Joey Spann, who is also a Bible teacher and coach at Nashville Christian School. Both Spann and his wife Peggy are among those injured.
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