Radical/Progressive Queer News and Commentary
from Memphis, Tennessee
Sunday, July 27, 2008
Terrorist Opens Fire on TN Church
2 Dead, 7 Hurt in Tenn. Church Shooting KNOXVILLE, Tennessee (AP) — A gunman opened fire at a church youth performance Sunday and killed two people, including a man who witnesses called a hero for shielding others from a shotgun blast. Seven adults were also injured but no children were harmed at the Tennessee Valley Unitarian Universalist Church. Church members said they dove under pews or ran from the building when the shooting started.
The gunman was tackled by congregants and eventually taken into police custody.
Jim D. Adkisson, 58, was charged with first-degree murder and was being held on $1 million bail, according to city spokesman Randy Kenner, who did not know if the suspect had retained an attorney. Authorities were searching Adkisson's home in the Knoxville bedroom community of Powell, Kenner said.
WBIR.COM: Attack details The man slain was identified as Greg McKendry, 60, a longtime church member and usher. Church member Barbara Kemper told The Associated Press that McKendry "stood in the front of the gunman and took the blast to protect the rest of us."
Linda Kreager, 61, died at the University of Tennessee Medical Center a few hours after the shooting, Knoxville city spokesman Randall Kenner said.
Five people remained hospitalized, all in critical or serious condition. Two others were treated and released.
The gunman's motive is not yet known. The church, like many other Unitarian Universalist churches, promotes progressive social work, such as desegregation and fighting for the rights of women and gays. The Knoxville congregation has provided sanctuary for political refugees, fed the homeless and founded a chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union, according to its website.
Kemper said the gunman shouted before he opened fire.
"It was hateful words. He was saying hateful things," she said, but refused to elaborate.
The FBI was assisting in the case in case it turns out be a hate crime, Police Chief Sterling Owen said. ----
Since this was a "liberal" (Unitarian Univerasalist) Church that helped the poor, homeless, immigrants and gays, I can just imagine the "hateful" things the gunmen said..
Obama was right! Some people are turning to "gods & guns" because they are "bitter" about the economic distress they suffer as a result of right-wing (Reaganomics) policies, but they blame liberals, blacks, immigrants and gays!