1 dead, 8 injured in ‘mass casualty' shooting at Antioch church, Shooter Identified

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) - One woman was killed and eight people, including the gunman, were injured in what officials are calling a “mass casualty” incident at a church in Antioch Sunday morning.

Metro police responded to the Burnette Chapel Church of Christ on Pin Hook Road at 11:15 a.m.

The preliminary investigation shows the gunman–identified as Emanual Kidega Samson, 25–arrived to the church in a blue SUV wearing a mask. 

Metro police said he immediately 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.

Police spokesman Don Aaron said the usher of the church 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 were taken to Vanderbilt University Medical Center for treatment. Officials with Vanderbilt said the victims arrived at 12 p.m.—two are in critical condition, with one shot in the torso and the other in the chest, and four are considered stable with gunshot wounds to their arms or legs.

(Photo: WKRN)

The man who was pistol-whipped was taken to TriStar Skyline Medical Center along with the last shooting victim.

While the gunman’s identity remains unknown, the police spokesman did say he’s a 26-year-old black man from Rutherford County. He has no known relationship to the church.

None of the other victims’ identities have been released or confirmed by Metro police.

However, officials at Nashville Christian School identified the pastor of Burnette Chapel Church of Christ and his wife as two of the victims—Pastor Joey Spann and his wife Peggy.

Pastor Joey Spann reportedly teaches Bible at the Bellevue school. The school released the following statement:

As you may already know, one of our Bible teachers, Joey Spann, and his wife were both injured in the church shooting this morning at Burnette Chapel Church of Christ in Antioch. We do not have any additional information at this time but want to boldly ask you to pray. Please lift up Coach Joey Spann and his wife Peggy and all who have been injured or impacted by this tragic event. We will keep you informed when we have more information. Thank you for being a part of our family of faith and for interceding on behalf of the Spanns.

Church members who were not injured were still being interviewed by officers at the scene hours later.

An area was also set up for family members to meet up with the relatives who were at the church at the time of the shooting. This area was set up at Beautiful Gate Church located at 12316 Old Hickory Boulevard.

Roads around the church were shut down as the investigation continues, including La Vergne Couchville Pike off Old Hickory Boulevard, and Hobson Pike.

Nashville’s Mayor Megan Barry released a statement  that says “this is a terrible tragedy for our city.” She continued:

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.


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