A 10-year-old boy was among those caught up in the Tennessee church shooting that left one woman dead and six worshippers injured.
The boy, Jeremiah Reese, described the terrifying ordeal when he helped barricade a door with several pieces of furniture to The Tennessean.
At first, Jeremiah thought the gunshots were fireworks, he said, explaining the moment when he started to hear gunfire.
Jeremiah Reese barricaded himself in a room by the auditorium at Burnette Chapel until the gunfire stopped. pic.twitter.com/SR8Wu2MW0g
— Blake Farmer (@flakebarmer) September 24, 2017
Jeremiah was with others in the church but in a separate room from the gunman,
“When I heard more and more and more I thought ‘OK those aren’t fireworks,'” he said, The Tennessean reported.
“When I heard someone scream ‘Get down’ and more screaming, I grabbed a couch and turned it on its side and I got a table and I got chairs and I just put chairs and chairs [by the door],” he said.
The masked gunman who entered the Nashville church was identified as 25-year-old Emanuel Kidega Samson. He walked into the Burnette Chapel Church of Christ on Sunday, Sept. 24, wearing a ski mask and opened fire, police said.
Melanie Smith, a 39-year-old mother of two was killed in the shooting, according to authorities.
“Everybody’s looking for why, why, why,” her daughter Breanna Smith told CBS. “There’s no understanding evil. There’s no understanding hate.”
The suspect shot and injured himself as he struggled with a church usher, 22-year-old Robert Caleb Engle, who was struck in the head by the suspect’s gun, reports said. Engle then managed to go to his car to fetch his gun, officials said, and came back to guard the injured gunman until the police arrived.
Metropolitan Nashville Police spokesman Don Aaron described Engle as “exceptionally brave.”
Many have called Engle a hero for confronting the gunman in the church. Engle said in a statement published by WKRN: “I do not want to be labeled a hero. The real heroes are the police, first responders and medical staff and doctors who have helped me and everyone affected.”
He was released from hospital at some point on Sunday night and is now resting with his family, per the news outlet.
— Josh Breslow (@JoshBreslowWKRN) September 25, 2017