1 dead as multiple people shot at Tennessee church
ANTIOCH, Tenn. (FOX NEWS) — Authorities said one woman was killed and seven others were wounded after a 26-year-old African-American man wearing a ski mask opened fire at a Tennessee church Sunday.
The gunman, who officials said shot himself and was taken to a hospital, opened fire at Burnette Chapel Church of Christ in Antioch, southeast of Nashville, just after 11 a.m. and fired “multiple rounds,” police said in a news conference. The Nashville Fire Department called the incident “a mass casualty situation.”
A church usher confronted the gunman at one point and was pistol-whipped, causing “significant injury around his head.” He told police he then went to his own car, grabbed a pistol and headed back into the church. The gunman then shot himself.
A woman who was fatally shot had just left church and was walking to her car when she was hit, police said.
The gunman, with his car still running in the parking lot, then entered the rear of the church and shot six people – three women and three men – who were rushed to the hospital, police said.
The gunman and five others were treated for gunshot wounds at Vanderbilt University Medical Center. Another victim and the man who was pistol-whipped were taken to Skyline Medical Center for treatment.
The gunman, who remains under police surveillance, is expected to survive.
“This is a mass casualty situation. All of the wounded have been transported to area hospitals. The majority are older adults,” Nashville Fire Department wrote on Twitter, who later clarified all but one victim was over the age of 60.
Several witnesses claimed the shooter was wearing a “clown mask” when he opened fire, but police said he was wearing a mask that resembled more of a ski mask.
The FBI is responding to the incident, but is not leading the investigation at this point.
Megan Barry, mayor of Metropolitan Nashville and Davidson County, said in a statementthat the shooting “is a terrible tragedy for our city. My heart aches for the family and friends of the deceased as well as for the wounded victims and their loved ones.”
The church has a weekly service starting at 10 a.m. Sunday. The surrounding area was closed off as police investigated the situation.
Fox News’ Jake Gibson and The Associated Press contributed to this report.