A man has been charged with murder in the US city of Nashville after he walked into a church armed with two guns and shot seven people, killing one.
Authorities have identified the attacker as Emanuel Kidega Samson, a 25-year-old who came to the United States from Sudan in 1996 and is a legal US resident.
Samson entered the Burnette Chapel Church of Christ from the back after fatally shooting a 39-year-old Melanie Smith outside, police said.
He then walked through the church silently, shooting six more people before he was subdued by an usher, 22-year-old Robert Engle.
He tackled the gunman and suffered injuries when he was pistol whipped. In the struggle, Samson shot himself, although it wasn’t clear if it was on purpose or an accident.
Engle retrieved his own gun from his car and held the man until police arrived.
In a statement, Engle played down his actions.
“The real heroes are the police, first responders and medical staff and doctors who have helped me and everyone affected,” he said.
The church pastor, David Spann, shouted, “Run, run, gunshots!” as congregants hid under pews or in bathrooms, according to a witness.
By the end of the shooting, chrchgoer Minerva Rosa was on her knees, her dress stained with blood, putting pressure on the gunshot wound in Spann’s chest.
Church members told police the suspect had attended services a year or two ago.
Nashville police did not immediately comment on several bizarre posts on the suspect’s Facebook page in the hours before the shooting.
Spann’s wife, Peggy, 65, was also shot as well as William and Marlene Jenkins, aged 83 and 84.
68-year-old Linda Bush and 64-year-old Katherine Dickerson were the other victims.