Antioch preacher recounts shooting: 'Honey, he's killed me...I'm dying and I'm sorry'

(Fox 17 News)

“Honey, he’s killed me... I’m dying and I’m sorry.”

Those were the words Burnette Chapel Church of Christ Preacher Joey Spann spoke to his wife after a gunman opened fire at the Antioch church Sunday, killing a woman and injuring several others.

The injured preacher spoke with courage while addressing reporters from a wheelchair inside Vanderbilt University Medical Center on Tuesday.

For the first time since the attack, Spann detailed the horrific moments surrounding the deadly shooting. Spann said parishioners heard a "popping sound," looked outside to see where it was coming from and saw the shooter turning the corner with a gun.

Police would later arrive to the shooting scene to find Melanie Crow shot to death in the parking lot.

The preacher told reporters he was “going to try to get” the shooter, but was shot in the chest and hand, which caused him to lose a finger. At that point, Spann said he thought he was going to die and that the gunman was going to “shoot everyone.”

However, church usher Rovert "Caleb" Engle stepped in and subdued the shooter until first responders arrived.

Police and EMTs quickly arrived to the scene, Spann said. While being transported to the hospital, the preacher said he felt weak and continued to think he was going to die.

Emanuel Samson has been charged with murder in connection to the shooting, with more charges forthcoming. On Monday, Metro Police said Samson wore a tactical vest and ammunition into the church.

Spann, who has been preaching and teaching in the area of 40 years, said the victims were good people and the shooting was senseless. The preacher said in the aftermath of the shooting, he will hold on tightly to his faith.

The preacher said he did not hate the gunman who attacked his church, and that given the chance, he would talk to him and “try to help him” if he could.

Spann has since been able to see his wife, who was also injured in the shooting and is being hospiptalized at VUMC.

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