At least seven people were wounded when a gunman opened fire inside the Burnette Chapel Church in Antioch, Tennessee, the Nashville Fire Department confirmed on Twitter.
The mass shooting news was just breaking on September 24, but some information is already coming out about the victims. The Fire Department said that eight people were wounded overall, but that included the shooter, who has not yet been identified.
Here’s what’s known about the victims so far. This post will updated as more names and details are released:
Minister Joey Spann & His Wife, Peggy
Former pastor Bill Hunter told the news media in an interview: “I understand there are eight people who have been shot including the shooter.” He heard that “the man just walked in, sat down, and started shooting. That’s basically all I know. That’s what I’ve been told.”
Hunter said his son knew someone who was inside the church.
The minister and his wife were among those who were shot, Hunter said he heard, but he stressed that he could not confirm that information 100 percent, and authorities have not yet released any information on the victims’ identities or conditions.
The church’s website confirms that Joey Spann is the church’s minister. He reviously worked as a minister or youth minister at several churches, including Smith Springs, Vultee, Northeast, Shady Grove, Old Hickory, West Nashville Heights and Pasquo. He has also been a teacher and coach at Goodpasture Christian School in Madison, Tennessee.
When he almost died of a heart attack in 2001, he told the Nashville City Paper. “I am so fortunate. I’m a Christian, and I felt the hand of God touching me.”
A 2015 profile story on Joey Spann called him Coach Spann and said he was a new teacher at Nashville Christian School. “I teach Bible class for the 8th graders, juniors, and seniors,” Coach Spann said in the article. “I also coach basketball for the middle school and high school girls. My favorite bible verse has got to be 1 Corinthians 15:57, which says ‘But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.’ I chose this verse, mainly because it greatly reminds me of the victory in Christ and how we should be thankful for him.” He also added, “I wanted to become a teacher here at Nashville Christian, because a lot of my friends around here that work in the staff here, and I wanted to work with them and me closer to them as well. I also wanted to be a teacher, because I wanted to get a second job to support me while I do my job at preaching. And lastly, students have taught me outside of the classroom that you don’t judge a book by its cover.”
Hunter said most of those shot were still inside the church. The extent of the Spanns’ injuries is not clear.
Multiple Victims May Have Died
The fire department has called the shooting a “mass casualty situation.” Reporter Natalie Allison said on Twitter that a woman had died in the parking lot, and others were shot and one person was pistol-whipped.
“This is a mass casualty situation. All of the wounded have been transported to area hospitals. The majority are older adults,” the fire department said in a statement.
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There are three women and three men among the shooting victims.
The victims were being taken to Vanderbilt Medical Center, according to The Tennessean reports.
Some of the Victims Showed up at a Neighbor’s Door
One neighbor of the church told WKRN-TV that shooting victims showed up at her door.
“There’s two people that come up to our door and say ‘someone is shooting at us at the church,’” she said. “(Her husband) called 911 and told the police, the station, there was a shooting at the church. … We had heard something, I was in the back of the house and it sounded like a wreck, but it wasn’t a wreck.”
She added that her husband went back to the church and found victims in the parking lot and in the church with gunshot wounds.
The Burnette Chapel Church of Christ, which is located in Antioch, holds a service on Sunday mornings.
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Read more about the church shooting here:
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