Was TN Church Gunman Retaliating for Charleston?

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The black man accused of a deadly shooting at a church near Nashville had a note in his car that alluded to revenge for the church massacre carried out by a white supremacist in Charleston, S.C., says the New York Times, quoting a report from the Associated Press. The note could help investigators understand the state of mind of the gunman, Emanuel Kidega Samson, 25, when he fatally shot a woman and left half a dozen wounded as services were ending last Sunday at the Burnette Chapel Church of Christ. The note suggests a possible motive for the attack. Samson of La Vergne, Tn., was charged with murder and is being held without bond.

A law enforcement report said the note made reference to retaliation for the actions of Dylann Roof, the white supremacist responsible for the 2015 murders at the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston. The killings by Roof, who was convicted last year and sentenced to death, shocked the nation. Roof, then 21 and lacking any direct ties to white supremacist groups, had become radicalized online and carefully planned the assault, in which nine people were killed. After the massacre, some officials worried about possible retaliation. William Nettles, U.S. Attorney in South Carolina when the attack happened, said, “My hunch was that I needed to be worried about a white nationalist’s copycat crime.” In Tennessee, Samson, a legal U.S. resident who immigrated from Sudan in the 1990s, had attended the church in years past but had not been seen there recently.

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