While we were still coping with what happened in New York, the country has been hit with yet another horrible event after a Sudanese immigrant opened fire at a Tennessee church Sunday. The FBI confirmed launching a civil rights investigation into the shooting and the immigrant who killed one and injured seven other people has been arrested.
“The Memphis FBI Field Office’s Nashville Resident Agency, the Civil Rights Division, and the US Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Tennessee have opened a civil rights investigation into the shooting at the Burnette Chapel Church of Christ in Antioch, Tennessee. The FBI will collect all available facts and evidence,” FBI Memphis told Fox News.
The suspect, 25-year-old Emanuel Kidega Samson, immigrated from Sudan two decades ago, according to the police. He’s suspected of bringing at least two pistols and a mask to the predominantly white Burnette Chapel Church of Christ in Antioch, southeast of Nashville, before opening fire.
A young man named Robert Engle, 22, has been called a “hero” by police for confronting Samson and holding him at gunpoint until law enforcement arrived at the church. Engle caused “significant injury around the suspect’s head,” police added.
Samson had been released from the hospital and will be charged with murder and attempted murder.
While it was initially reported that the gunman shot himself, it is now unclear whether he shot himself or the gun unintentionally discharged during his scuffle with Engle.
Burnette Chapel churchgoers recognized Samson and remembered him attending their church one to two years ago, but noted he hadn’t attended services “in quite a while.”
The woman who was shot and killed in the church parking lot, identified as Melanie Smith, 39, was walking to her car when she was hit, reports Red State Writers.
The other victims are being treated at Vanderbilt University Medical Center and Skyline Medical Center and are in stable condition. They’ve been identified as: William Jenkins, 83; Marlene Jenkins, 84; Peggy Spann, 65; Linda Busch, 68, David Spann, 60, Katherine Dickerson, 64.
Nashville Christian School wrote on Facebook that David Spann, nicknamed Joey, is a Bible teacher at the school, in addition to working as a high school and middle school basketball coach. Spann is reportedly a pastor at the Burnette Chapel.
Let us all pray for the victims and hope that these horrible events never happen again!
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