Police identify alleged gunman behind Antioch church shooting that left 1 dead, 7 injured

ANTIOCH, Tenn. -- The Metropolitan Nashville Police Department has identified the gunman they say opened fire at Burnette Chapel Church of Christ in Antioch, Tennessee Sunday as 25-year-old Emanuel Kidega Samson.

Police said Samson entered through the backdoor of the church at around 11:15 a.m. as service was ending and fired multiple rounds inside. Church usher Robert Engle saw the shooting and confronted Samson. During the struggle, police said Samson mistakenly shot himself.

Police said Samson was receiving medical treatment after being injured, but has since been released from the hospital. Police confirmed Samson will be charged with one count of murder. Additional charges will be placed later.

Authorities said six others were found shot inside the church along with Engle who they say was pistol whipped. Police said one woman was found shot dead in the parking lot. Police have identified the shooting victim as 39-year-old Melanie Smith of Smyrna.

During a press conference, police released more information on those injured during the shooting.

  • Minister Joey Spann - in critical condition
  • Peggy Spann - stable
  • Linda Bush - stable
  • William Jenkins - stable
  • Marlene Jenkins - stable
  • Katherine Dickerson - stable
  • Robert Engle - stable

Nashville's Mayor Megan Barry released this statement regarding the shooting:

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. 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.

Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam also released a statement on his Twitter page.