ANTIOCH, Tenn. — The pastor injured in a Tennessee church shooting over the weekend talked about the chilling moments he thought he was going to die.
“So I stepped out and looked down where the sound was coming from.. heard like two, three, four popping sounds, and then he turned the corner with the gun, he had it out, looking,” Pastor Joey Spann of Burnette Chapel Church of Christ told the media Tuesday.
That’s when the gunman started towards him.
“I threw this container at him. When he stepped in, my wife was on the floor, and Don and Marlene, and he pushed it off with his arm and I went toward him, I was going to try and get him. He shot me in the chest, felt like an air gun hit me. It wasn’t any sting or any hurting.”
As he fell to the ground he said he heard his wife Peggy, who was also injured in the shooting, call his name.
“Just yelling ‘Joey, Joey!’ I said, ‘Honey, he’s killed me.’ ….. And uh, I said ‘I’m dying and I’m sorry.'”
In all, seven people were injured and one, Melanie Smith, was killed.
One of the injured was Caleb Engle, the user who reportedly confronted the gunman, Emanuel Samson, and subdued him until police arrived.
"I think [Caleb] saved every one of our lives," Spann stated when asked about Engle's heroic actions. "[Samson] was reloading, he was going to kill everybody there, I think. I think Caleb saved us."
Samson is expected in court on Wednesday.
The suspect has been charged with murder, but additional charges are expected to be filed.
The FBI and U.S. Attorney's office have launched a civil rights investigation into the shooting.