Police examine actions of accused Tennessee church shooter

Emanuel Kidega Samson was identified as the alleged gunman who killed one and wounded several others at a Tennessee church on Sunday. Photo courtesy of Metro Nashville Police Department/EPA

Sept. 25 (UPI) — The suspect in the deadly Tennessee church shooting faces multiple charges, including first-degree murder, as investigators try to dig into his actions leading up to the day of the attack.

Just before the shooting Sunday, the suspect had been active on his Facebook page.

Emanuel Kidega Samson, a 25-year-old U.S. legal resident from Sudan, wrote on his page on Sunday around 11 a.m., “Everything you’ve ever doubted or made to believe as false, is real. & vice versa.”

Samson posted two photos of himself flexing his muscles with the caption, “unrestricted paroxysm.” Paroxysm, by definition, means a sudden attack of violent expression of emotion.

According to authorities, Samson went to the Burnette Chapel Church of Christ in Antioch, Tenn., near Nashville, and started shooting. Officials said he had four guns.

Melanie Smith, 39, was shot dead as she left the church. Five of the seven people shot inside remained hospitalized Monday, with only one in critical condition.

Monday, Smith was remembered by her friends and family.

“It’s a horrible tragedy, just senseless… I had this sick feeling that it was her,” a friend of Smith’s said.

Caleb Engle, a church usher, fought off the gunman during the attack. Some churchgoers said they recognized Samson’s name, as he had attended the church in the past

“This is a terrible tragedy for our city.” Nashville Mayor Megan Barry said.

“My heart aches for the family and friends of the deceased as well as for the wounded victims and their loved ones.”


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