Tennessee church shooter left note referencing Charleston ‘retaliation’

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A black man who opened fire at a Sunday church service in Tennessee left a note that referenced retaliation for a white supremacist’s shooting massacre at a black church in South Carolina, the Associated Press reports.

Investigators found the note in the car of 25-year-old Emanuel Kidega Samson, who opened fire at the Burnette Chapel Church of Christ in Antioch on Sunday, killing a woman and injuring seven others. He was taken into custody at the scene.

Law enforcement officials told the AP on Friday that the note referenced ‘retaliation’ for the attack on a black church in Charleston, South Carolina, in June 2015. The shooting, which left 9 people dead, was carried out by a white supremacist who said he hoped his massacre would ignite a “race war.”

The specific text of Samson’s note was not immediately released and the investigation is still ongoing, but the officials told AP that it could offer a glimpse into his mindset. Investigators have yet to comment about a possible motive, although the FBI has opened a civil rights investigation.

The shooting happened at the end of a weekly church service when Samson arrived in the church’s parking lot and fatally shot a 39-year-old woman. He then entered the rear of the church and opened fire, injuring 6 before a churchgoer confronted him with a gun and a struggle ensued, during which the churchgoer was pistol-whipped and Samson accidentally shot himself in the chest.

Samson had posted cryptic messages on his Facebook account less than an hour before Sunday’s shooting.

“You are more than what they told us,” one of the posts said. “Become the creator instead of what’s created. Whatever you say, goes,” a second message said. In a third post he wrote: “Everything you’ve ever doubted or made to be believe as false, is real. & vice versa, B.”

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