Terror gripped a church near Nashville, Tennessee when a gunman opened fire on members of the Church of Christ who were attending services.
While information is still coming in about who the suspect is, and why he attacked the church, some concerning facts have been released already, according to Frontpage Mag. The suspect’s name is Emanuel Kidega Samson, and he has a history of racism and anti-police behavior that the media won’t report on.
According to CNN, Sunday morning Samson appeared at the Burnette Chapel Church of Christ in Antioch with lethal intentions. In the parking lot, he shot and killed a woman, Melanie Smith, before entering the church and “indiscriminately shooting” people, according to a spokesman for the Metropolitan Nashville Police Department.
At least seven people were injured in the attack before Caleb Engle, a 22-year-old usher, rushed Samson. Despite being pistol-whipped by the gunman and suffering a serious head wound, Engle fled to his car to retrieve his own gun. Then, Engle, a conceal carry license holder, returned to the church where he held Samson at gunpoint until law enforcement arrived. Samson was already suffering a gunshot wound to his leg from his own accidental fire.
What we know of Samson comes from his social media activity. An extensive search through his social media history shows it is full of disturbing posts and links. Conspiracy theories, anti-white nationalist extremism, and a number of other hate-filled messages litter Samson’s social media posts.
One post was titled “You’re more likely to be killed by a white man than a Muslim terrorist.” The video criticizes the national fear of radical Islamic terrorists entering the US, saying we should fear white supremacists in our own country instead. Samson commented on the video, stating, “Stop falling for stupidity so easily.”
What’s odd about these messages is that Samson was a self-proclaimed Christian for a number of years prior to posting the hate-filled rhetoric, according to Heavy. In February 2010, he wrote, “I don’t need to change myself before I come to Christ, cause Christ came into me and CHANGED ME..” He also talked about preparing for his baptism. He even declared his intent to become a preacher one day.
One of his last Christian-based posts came in January 2012, when he wrote, “When it comes to God, I’m on hush mode I’ll let my life do the talking.”
What caused the change is unclear, and there’s seemingly no concrete evidence pointing to any current religious beliefs or ideologies, though there have been a number of pro-Islamic posts on his feed, leading some to speculate that this was a Muslim terror attack.
His last posts before attacking the members of the Church of Christ were a series of cryptic statements. Samson posted a number of photos of himself at the gym with a caption that read, “Unrestricted, paroxysm.” Paroxysm is defined as “a sudden attack or violent expression of a particular emotion or activity.” It is unclear whether he was referring to the workout, or the attack he would later commit.
Samson also wrote, “You are more than what they told us,” as well as, “Become the creator instead of what’s created. Whatever you say, goes.” His last post came within an hour of the shooting, which said, “Everything you’ve ever doubted or made to be believe as false, is real. & vice versa, B.”
The suspect posted hateful social media messages prior to his attack. Should police act on such posts?
It’s shocking to see this once-peaceful young man — hoping to be a preacher one day — suddenly turn into a bloodthirsty gunman descending on Christians attending church. It’s unclear what caused the change to this young man’s mind, but his social media activity shows that this hatred was bubbling under the surface for years.
Our hearts go out to the victims of this tragedy, and hopefully, answers will follow.