On Friday, a jury convicted a Tennessee man of all charges for his role in a 2017 church shooting which killed one woman and injured seven others.
Emanuel Kidega Samson, 27, was found guilty for the first-degree murder of Melanie Crow, 38, who he shot in the face and back as she walked through Burnette Chapel Church of Christ while holding a Bible. Samson was also convicted of 42 other charges connected the mass shooting that killed Crow and left seven others wounded, according to the Nashville Tennessean.
Moments before the shooting, Crow was in Sunday service when she went to her car to get a cough drop.
Prosecutors said Samson, who is black, intended to kill 10 white churchgoers in retaliation for the 2015 church shooting in Charleston, South Carolina, where Dylann Roof killed nine black parishioners.
Samson reportedly once attended the Burnette church and arrived on the premises on September 24, 2017, with guns, a knife, and loads of ammunition. During the bloodbath, he wore a tactical vest and a mask with a smile painted on it, the news outlet reported.
The gunman was said to have left a note on the dashboard of his running SUV which explained that the shooting was “vengeance” for the Charleston Church Shooting.
Meanwhile, defense attorneys argued that Samson’s mental health played a large role in the mass shooting. While the judge dismissed an insanity defense, a psychiatrist had diagnosed Samson with schizoaffective and post-traumatic stress disorders, according to the Tennessean.
Samson is expected to be sentenced sometime this week. Prosecutors are seeking life without parole for the first-degree murder charge.
[Featured image: Emanuel Kidega Samson/Metro Nashville Police Department]