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Police say Emanuel Kidega Samson opened fire at a church in Antioch, TN
video by Michael Schwab/Tennessean

NASHVILLE — Catherine Dickerson stood in the parking lot of Burnette Chapel Church of Christ at the end of Sunday morning’s service, casually talking with the church minister’s wife and another woman when she heard a popping sound behind her.

“I looked to my right and didn’t see anything,” said Dickerson in an interview Sunday evening. “Then another gunshot went off and someone said, ‘He’s got a gun!’ ”

Police identified the shooter as Emanuel Kidega Samson, 25, a former parishioner at the church. One person was killed and seven others injured. Samson accidentally shot himself after a confrontation with an armed member of the congregation.  

More: Gunman opens fire in Nashville church; 1 dead, 8 hurt

“He was in black and had a black mask with white little markings on it,” Dickerson said about the gunman. “He had the gun straight ahead of him, holding it with both hands. I saw one lady and she was going down.”

Dickerson darted for the church doors when she was shot, the bullet passing through her left thigh.

Dickerson, who has been attending church there for about six months, landed on her back in the doorway of the church, she said. Around her, people were screaming.

“I got up close to the wall so if somebody came in they would probably walk past me, and put my purse over my face so I couldn’t be seen,” Dickerson said. “I just laid quietly and played like I was dead.”

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Dickerson said the masked gunman walked by, and the shooting continued.

“He never said anything,” Dickerson said.

Police say Samson was in a violent scuffle with Caleb Engle, 22, a longtime church member.

“I was under my purse not watching so I didn’t know what was going on,” Dickerson said. “I was just waiting for him to leave and to be able to call the cops. So I didn’t see the scuffle.”

After police arrived and apprehended Samson, Dickerson said she saw people…