The incident happened at the Burnette Chapel Church of Christ on Sunday in Antioch, Tennessee, just outside of Nashville. According to varying reports, the gunman entered the church wearing either a neoprene skiing or clown mask before opening fire, killing one person and injuring multiple people. As reported by the Tennessean, police received the first calls of shots fired at approximately 11:15 a.m. The gunman is said to be a 25-year-old from Rutherford County.

Gunman left his car running before heading into the church

Don Aaron, a spokesman for the Metropolitan Nashville Police said in a media conference that the gunman left his vehicle, a Nissan Xterra, running before first fatally shooting a woman who was walking towards her car in the parking lot.

The shooter then entered the church via a back door, opening fire indiscriminately just as services were concluding, wounding six people. The church usher confronted the alleged suspect, who then pistol-whipped him before turning his gun on himself and shooting himself in the chest. The usher then left the church, fetching a gun from his own vehicle, with which he stood guard over the gunman until police arrived at the scene. According to WKRN, the usher suffered a significant injury to his head from the pistol-whipping.

Churchgoers tried to flee from the gunman

The Tennessean reports that the minister, Joey Spann, as well as his wife Peggy, were among the wounded in the shooting.

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One of the churchgoers, Minerva Rosa, said she applied pressure to the injured minister’s chest while awaiting the emergency medical technicians. Rosa said many people had tried to flee the church when the shooting started, but added that most of the congregation are seniors who couldn’t leave the church in time.

The Nashville Fire Department said seven people, including the gunman, were treated at the scene for their injuries and were then take to local hospitals. Of the victims in the shooting, all are said to be over 60 years of age. Two were critically injured, suffering wounds to their chests or torso. Four other victims are in a stable condition, having received injuries to their extremities. The victim’s identities have not yet been released.

According to Aaron, the shooter’s condition is thought to be non life-threatening and he is currently under police guard at the Vanderbilt University Medical Center. Police said they have identified the shooter and will release his name shortly, saying that so far the motive for the shooting is unknown.

However, in a breaking news tweet at the time of writing, NC5 reports that the suspect has been identified as Emanuel Samson, 25, of Murfreesboro.

Nashville Mayor Megan Barry said in a statement that the shooting at the church was a "terrible tragedy." She said her heart aches for everyone affected by the incident.