FBI launches civil rights investigation into deadly Tennessee shooting

Emanuel Kidega Samson being escorted by police after he was released from the hospital on Sept. 24, 2017. (Courtesy: Metro Nashville Police Department)

ANTIOCH, Tenn. (WATE/WKRN) — The Federal Bureau of Investigation confirmed they haves launched a civil rights investigation into a church shooting that happened Sunday just south of Nashville.

One person was killed and seven people were injured after the shooting at Burnette Chapel Church of Christ in Antioch. Nashville Metro Police said Emanual Samson was released from the hospital and charged with one count of murder. Further charges are pending.

According to police, Samson arrived at the church just as the service had ended, shooting and killing one woman in the parking lot and then making his way into the church and opening fire inside the sanctuary. More than 40 people were inside the church at the time.

Previous story: 1 dead, 8 injured in shooting at Middle Tennessee church

With blood still on her dress, Minerva Rosa told reporters she tried to help the church’s pastor, who was one of seven people hurt. She said Linda Bush, 68, pretended to be dead so the gunman wouldn’t shoot her again.

“He was just shooting. He was just shooting, He came right to the middle and shoot more,” said Rosa. “He shot a bunch outside and then shot more because he shot all the way to the front of the church.”

Police say the quick action from a church usher, Robert Engle, saved lives. Nashville Police Chief Steve Anderson said Engle physically engaged Samson.

At some point during the confrontation, authorities say the gunman then shot himself, but it’s unclear if it was intentional. Police said Engle, 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.

Previous story: ‘Extraordinarily brave’ 22-year-old releases statement after church shooting

Authorities said Samsung is a legal resident who moved to the United States from Sudan in 1996. Church members say he went to the church a year or two ago.

Police said Samson attended the church one or two years ago. He moved to the United States from Sudan in 1996 when he was four years old. He is a legal U.S. resident, but it’s unknown if he’s a legal citizen.

Investigators said Samson worked as a security guard for a company called Crimson Security, but that morning he sent an email to the company saying he appreciated the opportunity but would not be returning to work.

Samson had a previous unarmed security guard license that expired January 31, 2016, and he tried more than once to get his license renewed. Last June, he applied for work with G4S Secure Solutions – North America, but Communications Director Monica Lewman-Garcia said he did not pass the screening process.

Police records show Samson was involved in several incidents in Murfreesboro, including a suicide call. On June 27, Samson’s father said his son “texted him at 12:25 p.m. stating that he had a gun to his head.”

Two Murfreesboro police officers found Samson at an address on Donelson Pike, which turned out to be the office of G4S Secure Solutions. According to Metro police investigators, Samson was in the office, and appeared to be very professional. He told the officers he was fine and not a danger to himself.

Two more police reports indicate he had a stormy relationship with a former girlfriend. On March 11, Murfreesboro police responded to reports of a loud verbal argument when the woman showed up at his apartment. Samson claimed he was trying to break up with her. On January 29, the former girlfriend told investigators Samson broke a small TV and a figurine at her home.

It does not appear that Samson was charged with any crimes prior to his arrest on Sunday.

Related: Middle Tennessee church shooting brings memories for Knoxville church member

The church is planning on holding a prayer vigil Monday night. The vigil will be held at Burnette Chapel Church of Christ, which is located at 3890 Pin Hook Road, beginning at 7 p.m.

The church posted the event to its Facebook page, stating the event will be held outside as no one is allowed inside the building.

The post thanked the community for its support and asked for continued prayers.

We are beyond grateful for the enormous outpouring of love and compassion we have received from so many after the tragic event that took place yesterday. We ask for your continued prayers and support during the coming days and months, especially for the family of our sweet and dear sister Melanie Crow, who lost her life. God’s blessings to you all.

A GoFundMe was also set up to help with funeral expenses for the woman who was killed, Melanie Crow-Smith. Click here to donate.

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