Father of Tennessee church shooter said he begged police to take guns, urged son to pray demons away

www.christianpost.com | 5/25/2019 | Staff
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Vanansio Samson, the father of 27-year-old Emanuel Kidega Samson, who fatally shot a beloved mother and wounded six others at Burnette Chapel Church of Christ in Antioch, Tennessee, in 2017, said he begged police to take his son’s guns before the tragedy.

Child - Bible - Prayer - Demons - Night

He also said he tried convincing his only child to use the Bible and prayer to shoo demons that terrorized him at night as he battled mental illness.

“I begged the Murfreesboro Police to take away guns from him because I’m scared. Emanuel love people. Emanuel can only hurt himself. Emanuel can barely kill even a chicken. … I told the police to help me take his guns away. They said ‘no,’ that is his civil right and they cannot do it,” Vanansio explained about one rainy day in June 2017 when Emanuel sent him a suicidal text.

Son - Vanansio

He was so sure his son was already dead, Vanansio started crying.

“I was definitely crying and I went and reported it to the Murfreesboro Police Department,” he said.

Police - Emanuel - Father - Son - Vanansio

The police would later locate Emanuel alive and told his father that his son was well. Vanansio, however, said he knew he wasn’t.

It was almost three months later on Sunday, Sept. 24, 2017, when police say Emanuel, who worked as a security guard at the time, arrived at Burnette Chapel Church of Christ at 10:55 a.m. in a blue SUV wearing a neoprene half face mask.

Handgun - Emanuel - Church - Building - Vehicle

Armed with a handgun, Emanuel "fired upon the church building" with his vehicle still running in the parking lot where he shot church member Melanie Crow Smith, 39, and left her for dead. He then went on to shoot several other people inside the church building.

On the third day of Emanuel’s trial this week, Vanansio testified that his son had been struggling with bipolar disorder...
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