NASHVILLE, Tenn. — The FBI has opened a civil rights investigation into the church shooting that left one woman killed and several others injured in Tennessee, the agency said in a statement Sunday.
“The Memphis FBI Field Office’s Nashville Resident Agency, the Civil Rights Division, and the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Tennessee have opened a civil rights investigation into the shooting at the Burnette Chapel Church of Christ in Antioch, Tennessee,” the statement said.
It added, “The FBI will collect all available facts and evidence. As this is an ongoing investigation we are not able to comment further at this time.”
Sunday’s shooting left one dead and seven others wounded, authorities said. An usher confronted the shooter, who apparently shot himself in the struggle before he was arrested, police said.
No motive was immediately determined. Church members told investigators that the suspect had attended services a year or two ago, said Don Aaron, a spokesman for the Metro Nashville Police Department.
The gunman pulled into the parking lot at the Burnette Chapel Church of Christ as services were ending. He fatally shot a woman who was walking to her vehicle, then entered the rear of the church with two pistols and kept firing, hitting six people, Aaron said. It was unclear whether the self-inflicted wound to the chest was intentional, Aaron said.
Authorities identified the attacker as Emanuel Kidega Samson, 25, of Murfreesboro, who came to the United States from Sudan in 1996 and was a legal U.S. resident.
The gunman was discharged hours later from Vanderbilt University Hospital but remained in police custody. Warrants charging him with murder and attempted murder were pending, Aaron said.
Witness Minerva Rosa said the usher was a hero. “He’s amazing,” said Rosa, a member of the church for eight years. “Without him, I think it…