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A Mass Shooting at a Tennessee Church; Burnette Chapel One Month Later

10-29-2017
Courtesy Metro Nashville PD

Courtesy Metro Nashville PD

It has been one month since a gunman walked into Sunday service at the Burnette Chapel Church of Christ in Antioch, Tennessee. 

Before making his way into the building, that gunman took the life of 38-year-old Melanie Crow, a mother of two.

He then marched into the vestibule where about 40 members were preparing to leave and began firing. 

He shot the minister, Joey Spann along with several others. He continued his assault until he was confronted by Robert Caleb Engle, a 22-year-old church usher later dubbed a hero.

The assailant, Emanuel Kidega Samson was a former church member. 

All in all, one person was killed and another six injured.

Samson has since been charged with one count of criminal homicide with other charges pending.

One month later, the sign on the outside of the church reads “Lean on me. When Your Not Strong.- God.”

In the aftermath of the shooting, members of the church were anxious to get back to worship.

But there was just one problem: location. According to the Christian Chronicle, police considered the auditorium a crime scene.

So members of fellow churches and students from nearby Lipscomb University went to work moving pews into the fellowship hall for worship.

Just three days after the shooting, members were back for Wednesday night bible study.

Although, the service may be back up and running, congregants are still dealing with the physical aftermath of the tragedy.

Two are still in rehabilitation and Spann lost a finger in the shooting.

And then there are the mental scars.

“You were part of our family and you took someone from our family away from us. And you hurt some other people forever,” one church member told the Christian Chronicle referring to Samson.

Spann has said despite it all, he wishes he could have helped Samson.

"If I had the opportunity to talk to him, I would," Spann said. "And I would try to help him."

The church plans to offer counseling to members dealing with the effects of post-traumatic stress.

On their Facebook page, there’s a simple message: Continue to Pray for the Burnette Chapel Church of Christ.

 

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