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ICC Note: On September 24, a masked man attacked Tennessee’s Burnette Chapel Church of Christ, just after the service ended, killing one and wounding seven more. The attacker, Emanuel Kidega Samson, who used to attend the church, has since been charged with first-degree murder. While the motivation for the shooting is unclear, we will surely be supporting this church and the surrounding community with prayer.

By Heather Clark

09/25/2017 United States (Christian News Network) – A man who opened fire on a Tennessee church on Sunday, killing one and injuring seven others, has now been charged with first-degree murder.

Emanuel Kidega Samson, 25, reportedly was wearing a mask and holding two pistols when he arrived at Burnette Chapel Church of Christ in Antioch shortly after the end of the morning service.

He first came in contact with member Melanie Smith, 39, as she was walking to her car, and shot her to death. Samson then proceeded to enter the church where he “began indiscriminately shooting” at those inside, according to police.

Among those struck by gunfire were Joey Spann, 60, who pastors the church, as well as his wife, Peggy, 65. Spann also serves as a Bible teacher at Nashville Christian School. He and his wife are listed in stable condition.

Also among the wounded include members Linda Bush, 68, William Jenkins, 83, Marlene Jenkins, 84, Catherine Dickerson, 64, and Robert Engle, 22.

Engle, an usher, is being hailed as a hero as he confronted Samson, being pistol-whipped by the assailant. He then went to his vehicle to obtain his own pistol, as he had a permit to legally carry a firearm.

“There was a significant struggle between the two,” Nashville Police spokesman Don Aaron told NBC News. “During the struggle, the gunman shot himself—probably not intentionally—in the left pectoral muscle.”


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