tennessee church shooting

Photo via Metro Nashville PD/Twitter

Suspect in Tennessee mass shooting reportedly wanted retaliation against Dylann Roof (updated)

Law enforcement found a note in the gunman's vehicle.


Chris Tognotti


Posted on Sep 24, 2017   Updated on May 22, 2021, 4:28 pm CDT

A mass shooter opened fire Sunday at a church in Antioch, Tennessee, and the gunman reportedly killed one person and injured seven more before shooting himself. Police say the suspect is in custody, however, recovering from a self-inflicted gunshot wound at a Nashville-area hospital.

According to NBC News, the shooting took place around 11:15am CT, as people began calling in to report gunshots at the Burnette Chapel Church of Christ. In addition to the victims who were shot, local law enforcement reportedly said one person is in the hospital after being beaten with a pistol.

In the aftermath of the shooting, Nashville ABC affiliate reporter Josh Breslow tweeted out a video of an area resident who described victims of the shooting making their way to her front door.

“There’s two people that come up to our door and say there’s someone shooting at us at the church,” the woman said. “We heard something, I was in the back of the house, and it sounded like a wreck, but it wasn’t a wreck. So my husband went over there, because they were going back to the church, these people were. He went over there, one was in the parking lot that [the gunman] had shot in the back, and then he went into the church and there was someone laying in the doorway, some other people shot.”

The Nashville Fire Department tweeted a warning Sunday morning, stating the majority of the victims of the shooting were of advanced age.

“This is a mass casualty situation,” the department tweeted. “All of the wounded have been transported to area hospitals. The majority are older adults.”

As of this writing, the identities of the victims and of the alleged gunman have not been publicly revealed, nor have there been any statements from the police regarding the shooter’s motive.

Update 12:54pm CT, Sept. 30: According to the Associated Press via the New York Times, investigators found a note from the shooter, identified as 25-year-old Emanuel Kidega Samson, referencing seeking vengeance for the 2015 massacre at a predominantly Black church by white supremacist Dylann Roof.

The note, which was found in Samson’s car, was not fully disclosed to AP reporters, but a law enforcement officer stated that the note referenced retaliations for Roof’s Charleston, South Carolina, attack “in sum and in no way verbatim.”

Samson, who is Black, targeted a mixed-congregation church in his attack, leaving one woman dead and six injured. He is charged with murder, though police expect additional charges, and is being held without bond.

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*First Published: Sep 24, 2017, 2:21 pm CDT