One woman is dead and seven others were injured in a shooting at a church in Nashville, Tennessee, officials said. According to the Nashville Fire Department, the shooter was among those wounded. The incident occurred at Burnette Chapel Church of Christ in Antioch, which is 30 minutes southeast of downtown Nashville. The fire department described it as a “mass casualty situation.” All of the victims are over the age of 60, except for one. According to police, one victims was pistol-whipped. Officials have identified the gunman as a 25-year-old Emanuel Kidega Samson, who immigrated to the United States from Sudan in 1996 and was a legal U.S. resident. A bomb squad was working to determine whether the gunman’s car was safe to enter. “This is a terrible tragedy for our city,” Nashville Mayor Megan Barry said in a statement. “My heart aches for the family and friends of the deceased as well as for the wounded victims and their loved ones.”
In a press conference, a police spokesperson told reporters that the church’s usher, 22-year-old Robert Engle, was “the hero” who prevented more bloodshed. “He physically engaged the shooter, and during the struggle, the shooter was shot,” the spokesperson said. Engle was also injured in the struggle, and is being treated at an area hospital.