Emanuel Sampson. Black on White Christian
September 24th 2017, one year ago today, was a Sunday. Emanuel Sampson, 25, had some kind of moment and went into his Christian church with two guns and a ski mask. He pulled up in the parking area, left his car running, shot the first woman he saw in the parking lot dead, Melanie Crow Smith, 39, of Smyrna, then entered the church and fired indiscriminately before a large young man, Robert Caleb Engle, 22, confronted him and got pistol whipped for his trouble. Emanuel then somehow shot himself while Caleb, the large young man, ran to his car and fetched his ‘good guy’ gun, performed an arrest on Emanuel who was at the time immobile and bleeding from a self inflicted gunshot wound. And that’s when the cops arrived.
But why would a good practicing Christian and nascent body building star go back to the Church he was baptized in and spreads the Lords message in such an unconventional way? What did God say to his follower that morning?
At 10:01 a.m. that day, Emmanuel sent a message to his employers at Crimson Security Service saying he would not be returning to work, after one day on the job. Within an hour, investigators said, he arrived at Burnette Chapel Church of Christ parking lot.
All but one of the victims was over the age of 60, with all having been transported to Vanderbilt Medical Center, including the shooter. That is the last known sighting of Emanuel Sampson.
Identified as shooting victims were; Minister Joey Spann, with two gunshot wounds, and a missing finger, the man’s wife, Peggy Spann, 65, Linda Bush, 68; William Jenkins, 83; Marlene Jenkins, 84; Katherine Dickerson, 64; and church usher, Robert Engle, 22, who stopped the gunman.
Police arrived to find Emanuel under arrest at gunpoint. The good guy shooter, NRS member and devout practicing Christian Robert Engle, 22, known as Caleb, was the siege ending hero, although Emanuel appears to have been down and out when Caleb returned with his gun.
When this story broke I googled Emanuel’s Facebook page. My goodness. Do you think perhaps someone might have noticed how whacko this guy was?
Emmanuel believed an invisible voice in the sky (high up above) controlled everything in his life and never made any mistakes. A perfect deity that ruled everything and controlled every decision. He had absolute faith in something both invisible and silent.
The very definition of batshit crazy. Add to that a background of born in Sudan (A pretty bad place of savage barbarism for a developing young mind) and living in a place called Smyrna (Named after the real Smyrna, where the first genocide of the 20th century happened.)
That had me interested. Batshit crazy belief in invisible friends with growing use of steroids, openly posted on his Facebook page.
His last post the day before before the Church incident reads.
Become the creator instead of what’s created .
Whatever you say, goes.
And one reply reads:
“All we can do is pray.” That is his friends conclusion from the life of Emanuel Samson. But is that the truth?
Back in 2012, Emanuel K. Samson greeted Sunday mornings with a smile in his heart.
“Rise & shine It’s church time!” He posted on Facebook.
It had become a typical refrain. For years, Samson wrote regularly of his Christian faith and his excitement about going to church. At times, he offered to bring friends along so he could grow his church family. Five years pass with a lot of church a lot of bible study and a lot of spreading the word of God to children.
On Jan. 29, 2017, Samson’s girlfriend told police in Murfreesboro that he punched and broke a TV during a fight. On Feb. 11, Samson told police the same woman had come to his apartment and pushed on the door when he asked her to leave. No charges brought.
On June 27, 2017, Samson threatened to kill himself in an alarming text message to his father. “... I have a gun to my head, have a nice F—— life,” he wrote.
Responding Nashville police officers found Samson to be fine when they located him at a Donelson Pike office for G4S, a private security firm. However, Samson never worked for G4S — a spokeswoman there said he was not offered a position following a background check. According to state records, Samson was licensed as an unarmed security guard from January 2014 to January 2016, but that license had expired. He was in a class last Friday trying to be re-certified, according to Nashville police.
Crimson Security’s legal adviser said Samson had reported for training on his first day of work on Saturday; this is the day before the shooting. He was terminated after saying he would not work on Sunday. You see, Sunday is the Lords day.
By this time we see that the cocktail of steroids and Jesus is starting to kick in.
Samson’s brushes with the law, and the bloody carnage at Burnette Chapel, stand in stark contrast to the man Samson’s friends and family described on Monday. In interviews with the USA TODAY NETWORK – Tennessee, they talked about Samson’s ambition, his spirituality and his desire to help people.
Justin Ford, a classmate from Smyrna High School, remembered Samson as a man with “a good head on his shoulders.” “Just don’t know what made him do this, he was a good guy.”
Samson is a legal U.S. resident and came to America from Sudan in 1996. Samson’s parents brought him to the U.S. hoping for a better life — one that Samson seemed to relish.
Local resident Koks remembered Samson leading her younger children in Bible study during visits to her home a couple years ago.
“His favorite book is the Bible,” she said. “Every time you talk to him, he always mentioned the word of God.“
Koks said Samson was baptized at Burnette Chapel.
Church member Gloria Riches, 85, who did not attend the steroid Sunday morning service, said Samson and three other men from Sudan were “very active” in the church’s vacation bible school before leaving for another church.
In Koks’ most recent conversation with her nephew, about five months ago, she joked about his muscular physique — he had gotten involved with competitive weightlifting — and made plans to meet his girlfriend, who he said he wanted to marry.
In May 2010, around the time Samson graduated Smyrna High, he posted on Facebook saying he would “pursue to do what the Lord has called me to do. “I’m aiming at psychologist,” he said, “but also becoming a preacher.”
Moving to August 2017. One month before the big day.
Dallas McCarver has passed away at the age of 26. Taken too young to be at Gods right hand.
A friend staying with Dallas, came back to the apartment where Dallas was found on the floor not breathing.
This is a great shock to the bodybuilding industry. Imagine a guy who looks like that dying at 26.
Our thoughts go to his family and friends. “I do know God makes no mistakes and God is with him now.” Dallas was a devout Christian, so we can celebrate his entry to God Golden heaven.
I think, more likely, this young man Dallas, found dead on the floor is not with God at all. He is a decomposing pile of steroid dust somewhere in a Dallas memorial bowl.
We see then that on August 22, Emmanuel is upset. Conflicted even, yet still his belief in God is strong. Looking at his pictures from this period, he is clearly validating his personal identity through bodybuilding and religion. I think it is clear he is using steroids.
Emmanuel enjoyed reading this page about iconic handguns.
On that same day- August 22, he updates his profile picture:
Emanuel K. Samson updated his profile picture.
September 25, 2017. After 11 am.
Witnesses and police described a chaotic scene as a masked attacker armed with two guns shot seven people, killing one, in a Tennessee church before he was subdued.
Burnette Chapel Church of Christ member Minerva Rosa said members were talking about the success of their yard sale the previous day when they heard gunshots outside.
The church pastor, David Spann, 60, was reading from Luke, Chapter 8, the part about a woman who touched Jesus and was cured of bleeding. Pastor Spann shouted, “Run, run, gunshots!” as congregants hid under pews or in bathrooms.
A masked gunman carrying two guns entered the church from the back after fatally shooting a woman outside, police said. He then walked through the church silently, shooting six more people before he was subdued by an usher, police said. Police later recovered another pistol and a shotgun from the suspect’s vehicle.
In Emanuel’s car was a note calling white supremacist Charleston church killer of 9 Black people, and current death row inmate, Dylann Roof ‘less than nothing.’
The note was found in Samson’s car. All of the victims in Nashville were white, but it is still not clear whether Samson, who is black, specifically targeted them based on their race or whether the attack was intended to retaliate against the Charleston attack.
Samson has been charged with criminal homicide although police have yet to determine a motive. ‘He was just very vague and he didn’t really elaborate on anything.’
I’ll bet Jesus will take care of him. Nothing happens that is not His Will.
And what of the minister and his wife?
Minister Joey Spann knew he needed to be at the first Sunday service after the deadly shooting that terrorized his congregation. The 66-year-old minister, who was shot twice in the Sept. 24 attack at Burnette Chapel Church of Christ, did not have the physical strength to preach that day, but he still felt his congregation needed to see him walk into the building.
Slowly but steadily, Spann stepped inside the church’s fellowship hall. Dozens of others joined him. They filed into the rows of folding chairs and wooden church pews that filled the makeshift worship space. Next door, Burnette Chapel sat empty with its blood-stained carpets ripped from the floor.
“That was the Sunday I was worried about,” Spann said. “Would anybody show up?”
On the first Sunday after the attack, Spann sat in the front row wearing a blue suit jacket and a yellow dress shirt. He had one bullet still in his body and a finger missing from where another had torn through his hand.
He stood to address the crowded room. Spann spoke about their shared trauma with gravity and his well-known wit, ministering to the congregation while guiding their collective response.
But in the midst of the trauma and sorrow, Spann has watched blessings emerge. He turns to the Bible to understand the dichotomy.
“I keep going back to Joseph’s statement where he said to his brothers, ‘You meant it for evil, but God meant it for good,’ ” Spann said.
The attack damaged the church building, but now they can finally upgrade the dated facility thanks in part to donations and people volunteering their services.
While treating Peggy Spann’s gunshot wound, doctors discovered that the minister’s wife had a potentially life-threatening heart problem and performed a needed surgery, her husband said. A miracle. Proving that God knows everything and works in mysterious ways for our good.
The last word goes to Robert Caleb Engel. Feted for ending the attack, although its clear Emanuel shot himself first after pistol whipping Caleb.
His friend, Blake Langford described Caleb as a “great guy” and called him a “gentle giant.” “He’s just a great guy,” Langrod, said. “Just one of the kindest human beings you’ll ever meet.”
In a statement put out after the shooting, Engel said: “I’ve been going to this church my whole life since I was a small child. I would have never, ever thought something like this would have happened.”
“I ask everyone to pray for the victims, family members of the victims, our church community. Please pray for healing. Also, please pray for the shooter, the shooter’s family, and friends.”
“They are hurting as well.I pray that through all of this that people will come to know Christ and I ask our nation to reflect on Romans 8:31, ‘If God is for us, who can be against us?‘”
What will the judge rule for Emanuel Samson?