A 22-year-old with a concealed carry license stopped a shooter at a Tennessee church after being “pistol-whipped” in the face.
Robert Engle “physically engaged” shooting suspect Emanuel K. Samson on Sunday, stopping a rampage that already had killed one and wounded seven other people, Nashville Police Chief Steve Anderson said during a news conference.
“He’s the hero. He’s the person who stopped this madness,” Anderson said.
Samson allegedly entered Burnette Chapel Church of Christ in Antioch, Tenn., around 11 a.m. CST and opened fire on more than 40 people inside. Samson had two firearms, according to police, but it’s unclear whether he used both weapons.
Engle, who apparently did not have his concealed weapon with him inside the church, confronted the shooter and was beaten with a pistol. During the fight, the shooter was shot in the chest with his own gun, according to police.
Engle then went to his car to retrieve his concealed weapon and returned to the church to await the arrival of police.
Friends of Engle, who serves as an usher at the church, said he is like a gentle giant. “He’s just a great guy,” Blake Langrod, 20, told The Tennessean. “Just one of the kindest human beings you’ll ever meet.”
“That’s like him. He’s just someone who cares about a lot of people. He has all their feelings at heart,” Engle’s grandmother Rheta Engle said. “It would make any parent, grandparent very, very proud of him.”
Samson and Engle are being treated for injuries at separate hospitals.
Samson, a 25-year-old resident of Murfreesboro, Tenn., who came to the U.S. from Sudan in the 1990s, will be charged with murder and multiple accounts of attempted murder. Police have not released Samson’s motive.