Deadly Tennessee church shooting

After gunning down the woman in the parking lot, Samson went inside through the rear of the church and began “indiscriminately shooting at people,” police said, wounding six people.

The shooting took place the Burnette Chapel Church of Christ in Antioch, a neighborhood in Davidson County governed by Nashville.A gunman in the church parking lot shot and killed Melanie Smith, 39, as she was walking to her car when a prayer service was letting out.The shooter then entered the church through the sanctuary’s main door with two pistols and “began indiscriminately shooting,” Metropolitan Nashville Police Department spokesman Don Aaron said. There were approximately 50 people still inside the sanctuary when the shooting began. Six were wounded by gunfire and another was pistol-whipped, Aaron said.Read MoreChurch usher Robert Engle, 22, saw the shooting and confronted the gunman, Aaron said. “It would appear he was not expecting a brave individual like the church usher to initiate the struggle and confrontation,” Aaron said.

Megan Barry, mayor of Metropolitan Nashville and Davidson County, said in a statement that the shooting “is a terrible tragedy for our city. My heart aches for the family and friends of the deceased as well as for the wounded victims and their loved ones.”

The church has a weekly service starting at 10 a.m. Sunday. The surrounding area was closed off as police investigated the situation.

The shooting at Burnett’s Chapel Church of Christ in Antioch, Tennessee, started in the church’s parking lot, according to police and the Nashville Fire Department. Nashville Metro police spokesman Don Aaron said emergency calls came in around 11:15 a.m. as services were letting out.

A church usher, identified as 22-year-old Robert Engle, ran up and confronted Samson and was subsequently pistol-whipped by him, police said. Samson was at some point shot in the left pectoral, though police still don’t know if the gun discharged on its own during Engle’s struggle with the suspect.

The shooting took place the Burnette Chapel Church of Christ in Antioch, a neighborhood in Davidson County governed by Nashville.A gunman in the church parking lot shot and killed Melanie Smith, 39, as she was walking to her car when a prayer service was letting out.The shooter then entered the church through the sanctuary’s main door with two pistols and “began indiscriminately shooting,” Metropolitan Nashville Police Department spokesman Don Aaron said. “It would appear he was not expecting a brave individual like the church usher to initiate the struggle and confrontation,” Aaron said.

Gov. Bill Haslam added that he and his wife, Crissy, were praying for the victims and “committed to supporting the Antioch community in the aftermath of this tragedy.”

Police said Samson had attended the church within the past two years. He has been released from a local hospital and will be charged with one count of murder, with additional charges to come.

At that point, Engle went to his car, where he got his weapon to confront the shooter again.

Police have identified the gunman who shot a woman injured and dead six other churchgoers after he opened fire Sunday morning at a Tennessee church as services were ending.

The gunman, identified by police as 25-year-old Emanuel Kidega Samson, arrived in the parking lot and first fatally fired at 39-year-old Melanie Smith, who was walking to her car, police said. Samson was wearing a neoprene half-mask and drove an SUV, Aaron said.