A gunman “wearing a clown mask” opened fire in a Nashville-area church Sunday morning, killing a woman and wounding seven others, reports said.
A hero church usher eventually turned the tables on the shooter and held him at bay till cops arrived, according to a local TV station.
Suspect Emanuel Kidega Samson, 25, opened fire at Burnette Chapel Church of Christ at 11:15 a.m. Sunday, officials said, according to FOX news.
One report said the killer was wearing a clown mask at the time.
“A church member tells me the gunman entered the church wearing a clown mask and opened fire. He was taken to a local hospital,” NC5 reporter Alexandra Koehn tweeted.
Authorities said the shooter at least had a ski mask on when he entered through the rear of the church and fired “multiple rounds,” according to FOX. The Nashville Fire Department called the incident “a mass casualty situation.”
At one point, the gunman pistol-whipped a church usher who tried to stop him, causing the man “significant injury around his head,” authorities told FOX.
But the usher was still able to continue to fight the killer, who then accidentally shot himself in the leg, cops said. The usher then ran to get his own gun and held the suspect for cops, according to News Channel 5.
The woman who was killed had just left the church and was walking to her car when she was shot, police said.
All but one of the victims is over the age of 60, and all have been taken to Vanderbilt Medical Center, local fire officials tweeted.
“This is a mass casualty situation. All of the wounded have been transported to area hospitals. The majority are older adults,” the Nashville Fire Department tweeted.