The continuing investigation into Sunday's shooting at the Burnette Church of Christ by the Metro Nashville Police Department and federal partners shows that suspect Emanuel Samson lawfully purchased one of the four weapons recovered Sunday. A relative lawfully purchased the other three.
Samson, who lived in LaVergne, TN, bought the .22 caliber semi-automatic pistol found in his SUV from a Rutherford County retailer in December 2015.
A relative purchased the .40 caliber semi-automatic pistol allegedly used to fire the shots at the church from a Rutherford County retailer in August 2016. That relative purchased the AR-15 rifle recovered in a case from Samson's vehicle from the same Rutherford County retailer in February 2014. The nine millimeter semi-automatic pistol recovered from the church was purchased by the relative from a Wilson County retailer in August 2016.
The relative has been interviewed by law enforcement and reported that the three guns were given to Samson for safe keeping.
The investigation to this point shows that Samson, of Nicole Lane in Lavergne, Tennessee, pulled into the church parking lot in a blue SUV. He is believed to have been there for at least several minutes before church let out. When Melanie Crow Smith, 39, of Smyrna, appeared in the parking lot, Samson is alleged to have opened fire on her. She was fatally wounded and died at the scene. He is then alleged to have entered the main doors of the church sanctuary where multiple additional shots were fired.
Six persons in the church were wounded by gunfire.
They are identified as:
- 60-year old David Spann, pastor of the church, was shot and is in critical, but stable condition at Vanderbilt Medical Center.
- William Jenkins, 83 - Non life threatening injuries
- Marlene Jenkins, 84 - Non life threatening injuries
- Peggy Spann, 65 - Non life threatening injuries
- Linda Bush 68 - Non life threatening injuries
- Katherine Dickerson, 64 - Non life threatening injuries