One dead, seven wounded in shooting at church in Tennessee

One dead, seven wounded in shooting at church in Tennessee

Once the gunman was wounded and/or subdued, the usher reportedly went to his own auto, got his gun and then came back and guarded the shooter until police arrived on the scene. Churchgoers say he frequented the church one or two years ago, but hadn't been an active part of the congregation in recent times.

He was confronted by a man who was violently pistol whipped, according to police. The usher then ran to his auto and retrieved a handgun, police said.

During an interview, authorities said Samson confirmed he was armed with a handgun and that he opened fire on the building. She said she heard the pastor shout "Run! Run!"

A source from within the federal investigation said there is a real reason why they are pursuing a civil rights lawsuit against Samson.

Though he is a legal US resident, officials said Samson is not a citizen.

Melanie Smith (39), from Smyrna, Tennessee, was shot to death in a parking lot, where she was found lying next to a blue vehicle parked when the police arrived.

Engle released a statement through the hospital where he was treated, saying he did not want to be labeled a hero.

The gunman was wounded - apparently when he accidentally shot himself - and was taken to a local hospital. He was later released and was expected to appear before a judge late Sunday night. He is believed to have been there for at least several minutes before church let out.

Engle's grandmother said she's proud of her grandson. "It was a good church", said Merritt, 58. He reportedly came to the US from Sudan in 1996 and became a USA resident.

The masked gunman was arrested.

We're told he used to regularly attend services at that church.

A spokesman for Vanderbilt University Medical Center said Joey Spann was listed in critical-but-stable condition, and the others - including Engle - were listed in stable condition.

Joe Love, 67, who lives across the street from the church, said he initially thought the sounds were a vehicle crash.

"He's just someone who care about a lot of people", Rheta Engle told the Tennessean. During a struggle, Engle was pistol-whipped and the gunman mistakenly shot himself. When he returned, Engle put his gun on Samson and held him down with his foot, Ramey said.

"Mr. Engle saved countless lives here today", said Don Aaron, a spokesman for the Metro Nashville Police Department. Shortly after Samson writes, "Become the creator instead of what's created. Whatever you say goes".

A note was posted to Samson's Facebook page back in May 2010.

Police have not determined a motive for the shooting.

Aaron said it was unclear whether the self-inflicted wound was intentional.

A massive police presence remained on the scene at the Burnette Chapel on Sunday afternoon, with a police officer standing guard on Pin Hook Road a quarter mile from the church, turning away motorists.

The alleged shooting occurred at the Burnette Chapel Church of Christ in the neighborhood in Antioch. Police have also started questioning his neighbours and acquaintances.

Inside church member Minerva Rosa said everyone was talking about the success of their yard sale the previous day when they heard gunshots.

Megan Barry, the Mayor of Metropoliton Nashville and Davidson County, said her "heart aches for the family and friends of the deceased as well as for the wounded victims and loved ones".

Nashville police have not commented on the posts.