The scene where people were injured when gunfire erupted at the Burnette Chapel Church of Christ, in Nashville, Tennessee, U.S., September 24, 2017. (Metro Nashville Police Department/Handout via Reuters)

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A woman was killed and at eight people were injured when a gunman, wearing a ski mask, opened fire at a church in the Nashville area Sunday morning, news reports said.

The woman died in the parking lot and medical officials were treating at least eight wounded churchgoers after the shooting at Burnette Chapel Church of Christ, according to the Nashville Police Department.

A statement on the Nashville Christian School Facebook page reported that the church's pastor, Joey Span, 60, and his wife, Peggy, 65, were both injured in the shooting and were being treated at a local hospital. Spann is a Bible teacher and a high school and middle school basketball coach.

A news report says the shooter, whom Fox News has identified as Emanuel Kidega Samson, a 25-old Rutherford County man, began opening fire on the congregation just as prayer service was letting out. He then shot himself and was taken to Vanderbilt University hospital. The report says he is "expected to survive."

The MNPD said it received the first call of multiple shots fired at 11:15 a.m. local time.

The report says a man confronted the gunman at one point and was pistol-whipped, causing "significant injury around his head." He told police he then went to his own car, grabbed a pistol and headed back into the church. The gunman then shot himself.

"All but one of the wounded were over 60 years old and were being taken to nearby hospitals," Joseph Pleasant, a Nashville Fire Department spokesman, told Reuters.

The church, founded in 1862, is located at 3890 Pin Hook Road in Antioch, Tennessee, about 10 miles southeast of downtown Nashville. The Tennessean described the church's congregation as "small and multi-ethnic."

Reuters and The Nashville Tennessean contributed to this report.

 

 

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