KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (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.
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.”