A church usher is being called a hero after saving the lives of dozens of people in an Antioch, Tenn., attack Sunday.
Just before noon, 25-year-old Emanuel Kidega Samson drove to Burnette Chapel Church of Christ wearing a ski mask and armed with two handguns. After shooting and killing one woman in the parking lot, Samson entered through a rear door and began shooting indiscriminately. Twenty-two-year-old Robert “Caleb” Engle heard the shots and engaged Samson hand-to-hand. The suspect pistol-whipped Engle, but Engle was able to get the upper hand, and Samson apparently shot himself in the chest with his own gun during the fracas. With the threat diminished, Engle’s father stood guard, giving Engle a chance to retrieve his firearm from his vehicle and hold Samson for police.
“We believe he is the hero today,” Police Chief Steve Anderson said. “He’s the person who stopped the madness.” But Engle has eschewed the hero label, saying he was simply defending the church he had attended since childhood. “I ask everyone to pray for the victims, family members of the victims, our church community. Please pray for healing,” he requested in a statement.