Sept. 24 (UPI) — One woman died and at least seven others were wounded Sunday in a church shooting near Nashville, Tenn., police said.
The Nashville police department said the suspect was apprehended and hospitalized after a “mass casualty situation” at the Burnette Chapel Church of Christ in Antioch, about 30 miles southeast of Nashville.
The police department said three women and three men, including the gunman, were taken to Vanderbilt University Medical Center. A hospital spokesman told the Nashville Tennessean said two victims were in critical condition and four others were in stable condition. The victims were over the age of 60.
Two other victims were transported to Skyline Medical Center.
WSMV-TV reported police received a call about a shooting as the people were leaving the church at 11:15 p.m. The service began at 10 a.m.
The gunman, wearing a ski mask, arrived in a blue SUV, WKRN-TV reported. He allegedly killed a woman outside the church in the parking lot, and entered the church through the back door and started shooting, police said.
One church member, who went to his car and retrieved his gun, confronted the gunman and was pistol-whipped. He was among those transported to Skyline.
Authorities said the gunman then shot himself in the head.
A police spokesman said the suspect is in his mid-20s and from nearby Rutherford County with no known relationship to the church. Antioch had a population of 86,261 in 2016, according to Sterling’s Best Places.
Joe Love, 67, who lives with his wife Donna Love, 56, across the street from the church, said they initially thought the sounds were a nearby car crash.
“He shot her like she was a damn dog in his backyard,” Love told the Tennessean.
Sen. Bob Corker issued a statement via Twitter that said: “We are closely monitoring reports of a church shooting in Antioch. As we await more details, please join me in praying for the victims.”