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Affidavit: Church shooting suspect told officers he 'fired upon the church building'

(Metro Police photo)

An affidavit is providing more details surrounding a deadly shooting at the Burnette Chapel Church of Christ in Antioch.

Suspected shooter Emanuel Kidega Samson told Metro Police that he was "armed with a handgun" and that he "fired upon the church building."

Witnesses and police described a chaotic scene as a masked attacker armed with two guns shot seven people, killing one, before he was subdued on Sunday. The church pastor yelled for the congregants to run after the attacker came through the church silently shooting, according to a witness Sunday in a Nashville neighborhood. According to the affidavit, Samson was "firing randomly at parishioners."

Church usher Robert Caleb Engle, 22, is being hailed as a hero for tackling the gunman and holding him at gunpoint until police got to the scene.

“I’ve been going to this church my whole life, since I was a small child. I would have never, ever thought something like this would have happened. I ask everyone to pray for the victims, family members of the victims, our church community. Please pray for healing. Also, please pray for the shooter, the shooter’s family and friends. They are hurting as well. I pray that through all of this that people will come to know Christ and I ask our nation to reflect on Romans 8:31: “If God is for us, who can be against us?” When complimented about his heroism he stated: “I do not want to be labeled a hero. The real heroes are the police, first responders and medical staff and doctors who have helped me and everyone affected. My hope is for privacy for all involved.” -- Caleb Engle

Caleb Engle is owed a debt of gratitude for standing up and risking his life to save his fellow worshipers. - Mayor Megan Barry

Police arrived to find victim Melanie Smith, 39, shot to death in the parking lot.

Engle and Katherine Dickerson, 64, have since been released from the hospital. William Jenkins, 83, Marlene Jenkins, 84, David Spann, 60, Peggy Spann, 65, and Linda Bush, 68, remain hospital at Vanderbilt University Medical Center.

Samson is charged with murder. He's being held at Maximum Correctional Center along Harding Place. Additional charges are expected.

The ATF and FBI are investigating.

The U.S Justice Department is looking at this case as a possible civil rights case.

Metro police say the motive for the shooting is under investigation.

An official GoFundMe account has been set up for the church. Another vigil is slated for 3 p.m. Monday at Woodmont Hills Chruch. Nashville Mayor Megan Barry plans to attend.


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