ANTIOCH, Tennessee - In the "about" section of Emanuel Samson's Facebook page it says, "No need for a life story: you probably heard about me." Today the whole country's heard about him, for all the wrong reasons.
Samson's behind the latest shooting that left one dead and several wounded at a predominantly white church in Antioch, Tennessee. The 25-year-old Sudanese national has U.S. residency, but right now resides behind bars without bond, charged with felony homicide. Authorities are still trying to figure out his motive and whether race was a factor.
"Bam! Bam! Bam! He just kept pulling the trigger," said Joe Love.
Jeremiah Reese, a 10-year-old added, "And then we shut the door and somebody said get down! Get down!"
Police say Samson shot and killed Melanie Smith as she walked to her car in the church parking lot.
Love said, "He shot the first lady in the back. Then he turned around and rolled her over, and shot her in the face."
It didn't stop there. Samson then opened fire inside the Burnette Chapel Church of Christ until a 22-year-old usher tackled him. Nashville's chief of police calls the usher a hero for "stopping the madness." Samson shot himself during the struggle. It's not clear if it was on purpose or by accident.
During the mass shooting, parishioners barricaded themselves in the bathroom and hid under pews. Reese was locked in the church kitchen until it was safe. "And then I saw five people on the ground,"he said.
The other victims include the preacher, his wife, an elderly couple and two women in their sixties. The FBI and the U.S. Attorney's Office have launched a civil rights investigation.
"There's no understanding evil. There's no understanding hate," said Smith's daughter Breanna.
While the small, devastated community mourns Smith, her children are trying to focus on her memory rather than her death.