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Police have identified the gunman in a shooting at a Nashville-area church Sunday in which two of the victims are to said to be in critical condition, The Nashville Tennessean reported. Nashville Police have also labeled one of the church's ushers "a hero."
The suspect has been identified as Emanuel Kidega Samson, a 25-year-old Rutherford County man who himself was shot during the incident after he killed one woman and injured seven others, including the pastor and his wife, following a prayer service at Burnette Chapel Church of Christ in the Nashville suburb of Antioch. Samson is under police guard at Vanderbilt University Medical Center reportedly in stable condition.
The Tennessean reported that hospital spokesman John Howser said the two critical patients suffered gunshot wounds to their chest and torso and that four other victims, in stable condition, suffered gunshot wounds to their extremities.
In a press conference, Nashville police lauded 22-year-old Robert Engle, who "physically engaged" Samson, for his efforts to disarm the gunman. Engle's scuffle with the shooter resulted in Samson being shot in the chest.
"He's the hero," Metro Nashville Police Chief Steve Anderson said of Engle. "He's the person who stopped this madness."
The Tennessean said witness Joe Love, who lives across the street from the church located at 3890 Pin Hook Road in Antioch, said he heard the shots, which came just after 11 a.m. local time Sunday. He initially thought it was "a nearby car crash."
The report also said that Minerva Rosa, who was inside the church during the shooting, "began applying pressure" to the chest of Pastor Joey Spann, one of the shooting victims, while waiting for authorities to arrive. Rosa said Spann shouted "run" when the shooter entered the church.
The Tennessean reported that approximately 50 people were inside the church at the time of the shooting and that all the victims had been taken to area hospitals.
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