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Deadly Antioch church shooting case bound to Grand Jury

(Metro Police photos)

The case against a man accused of opening fire at an Antioch church, killing one person and injuring several others, has been bound to a Grand Jury.

A judge found probable cause on Monday against Emanuel Samson, who is charged with murder in the Sept. 24 shooting at Burnette Chapel Church of Christ.

Melanie Crowe, 39, was found shot to death in the parking lot. An autopsy revealed she was shot three times in the back and once in the face. Katherine Dickerson, 64, William Jenkins, 83, Marlene Jenkins, 84, David Spann, 60, Peggy Spann, 65, and Linda Bush, 68, were all injured in the shooting.

Samson waived his right to appear at his hearing. He's currently being held without bond.

Metro Police Homicide Detective Steven Jolley testified that during his interview after the shooting, Samson indicated that the shooting wasn't racially or religiously motivated. Although, Jolley said that part of the investigation is being handled by the FBI. During one point in his interview, Jolley testified that Samson said he had heard "voices" and seen "visions," and had a vision particularly about Burnette.

Inside Samson's vehicle, police found a handwritten note that referred to the deadly church shooting in Charleston, S.C.


Samson also reportedly said that he wasn't shooting at anyone in particular when he fired at and inside of the church.

Jolley said that according to shell casings found, 12 rounds were fired in the shooting; five shell casings were found inside and seven shell casings were found inside. They were all .40 caliber casings, which matched a gun found on Samson.

Samson was found in possession of a .40 caliber and 9 mm pistols the day of the shooting. An AR-15 rifle and .22 caliber semi-automatic pistol were found outside in his vehicle. There were several different types of ammunition found, but not all matched the guns at the scene.

Robert "Caleb" Engle, the man hailed a hero after confronting Samson, was first to take the stand in Monday's hearing. Engle said 43 people were at church that day and as services were ending, he heard the preacher yell "there's a gun, run" -- right before the preacher was shot. Engle said the gunman was wearing a "clown-like" ski mask that covered his face.

During a confrontation, Engle said the gunman's weapon discharged, striking the suspect. The gunman fell to the ground after the shooting where he remained until first responders arrived. At one point during the confrontation, Engle was pistol-whipped and suffered a dislocated shoulder.

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