Suspect Charged With Murder in Mass Shooting at Tennessee Church

A Tennessee man was held without bond Sunday night on a first-degree murder charge after he allegedly opened fire while wearing a mask at a church outside Nashville, killing one person and injuring six others, authorities said.

Emanuel Kidega Samson, 25, identified as the suspect by police, told authorities he arrived at the church armed with a handgun just before 11 a.m. and “fired upon the church building,” according to a State of Tennessee affidavit.

Officials said in a statement that more charges were expected.

Police found four guns believed to be Samson’s, the statement said — a rifle and a pistol in the suspect’s SUV, along with two other pistols — in Burnette Chapel Church of Christ in Antioch, where Melanie Smith, 39, was killed as she walked to her car.

Nashville police spokesman Don Aaron said that after fatally shooting Smith, the gunman entered the main sanctuary door, at the rear of the church, and “began indiscriminately shooting.”

A church usher, Caleb Engle, 22, confronted the gunman and was “pistol whipped,” Aaron said.

“There was a significant struggle between the two,” he said, adding: “During the struggle, the gunman shot himself, probably not intentionally, in the left pectoral muscle.”

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