FBI Investigates Deadly Tennessee Church Shooting


Monday, September 25th 2017, 2:47 am
By: News On 6


The FBI has opened a civil rights investigation into the church shooting that left one woman killed and several others injured in Tennessee, the agency said in a statement Sunday.

"The Memphis FBI Field Office's Nashville Resident Agency, the Civil Rights Division, and the U.S. 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 statement said.

It added, "The FBI will collect all available facts and evidence. As this is an ongoing investigation we are not able to comment further at this time."

Sunday's shooting left one dead and seven others wounded, authorities said. An usher confronted the shooter, who apparently shot himself in the struggle before he was arrested, police said.

No motive was immediately determined. Church members told investigators that the suspect had attended services a year or two ago, said Don Aaron, a spokesman for the Metro Nashville Police Department.

The gunman pulled into the parking lot at the Burnette Chapel Church of Christ as services were ending. He fatally shot a woman who was walking to her vehicle, then entered the rear of the church with two pistols and kept firing, hitting six people, Aaron said. It was unclear whether the self-inflicted wound to the chest was intentional, Aaron said.

9/24/2017 Related Story: Official Says At Least 8 Wounded In Tennessee Church Shooting

Authorities identified the attacker as Emanuel Kidega Samson, 25, of Murfreesboro, who came to the United States from Sudan in 1996 and was a legal U.S. resident.

The gunman was discharged hours later from Vanderbilt University Hospital but remained in police custody. The Metropolitan Nashville police tweeted Sunday night that Samson will be charged with one count of murder and that multiple "additional charges will be placed later." He was ordered held without bail by a judicial commissioner.

The woman who was killed in the parking lot was identified as Melanie Smith, 39, of Smyrna, Tennessee.

The gunman and six others were treated for gunshot wounds at nearby hospitals, along with Engle, who was pistol-whipped, Aaron said. Witnesses were being interviewed by police.

Nashville Mayor Megan Barry said in a statement that the shooting was "a terrible tragedy for our city." She said her administration "will continue to work with community members to stop crime before it starts, encourage peaceful conflict resolution and promote non-violence."

The Associated Press contributed to this report.