911 tapes reveal violence, suicidal thoughts from alleged church shooter

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911 tapes reveal violence, suicidal thoughts from alleged church shooter

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Emanuel Kidega Samson is charged with murder. (Photo: Metro Nashville Police Department)

MURFREESBORO, TN (WSMV) –

News 4 has obtained 911 calls and dash cam video from the Murfreesboro Police Department which depict a troubled and violent Emanuel Samson, who allegedly threatened his own life just months before opening fire on the Burnette Chapel Church of Christ on Sunday.

In late June, Emanuel Samson’s father, Vanansio Samson, called Murfreesboro police to report his son was suicidal. The father had received a text from his son that read, "Your phone is off. I have a gun to my head. Have a nice f***ing life."

The conversation between Vanansio Samson and Murfreesboro police was captured on dash cam video.

"He wanted to kill himself," he told officers. "Last night he sent me a text.”

Police tried to figure what caused the suicidal thoughts, as Emanuel Samson’s father and sister tried to track him down.

"There was no argument or anything?" an officer asked.

"No, no. We are most like friends. Me and my son, we don’t hide anything. Unless… (inaudible) his girlfriend. I don’t know," the father said on a dash cam video that’s difficult to decipher at points.

The seemingly worried father asked police if they could break into his son’s home. He expressed concerns that Emanuel Samson may have guns.

"What can I do to help you get to him? Because I don’t want to let him have guns," Samson’s father told the officers.

"Well, unless he’s some type of felon," the officer began.

"No. He’s not a felon," Samson’s father interjected.

"Then it’s his right to have as many guns as he likes. We can’t stop him from having guns," the officer continued.

She told Vanansio Samson they could not execute a forced entry unless they heard actual shots. Police later pinged Emanuel Samson’s phone to a location on Donelson Pike.

That wasn’t the first time police had been called this year about Emanuel Samson, nor the first threat.

In late January, Emanuel Samson’s girlfriend at the time called Murfreesboro police to report a domestic violence incident.

"It’s really bad, like he’s yelling and it’s really like scaring me,” she told police. "He hurt some of my stuff, like he is throwing it around.”

His former girlfriend said Emanuel Samson had punched a TV and was bleeding. She thought he was trying to hurt himself.

"He just tried to yank my phone out my hand when he scratched me arm," the woman told an officer in a 911 call. "He really wasn’t trying to harm me. I think he is trying to harm himself more.”

"What makes you think that?" the dispatcher questioned.

"He’s just saying stuff that he’s going to harm himself," the young woman replied.

That call was made on Jan. 29. An officer came to the Campus Crossing Apartments beside Middle Tennessee State University’s campus.

The university spokesperson confirmed Emanuel Samson was a student at MTSU for the spring 2017 semester studying pre-social work, but he dropped out. They said he’d transferred to MTSU briefly after attending Motlow State Community College. MTSU officials said he did not live on their campus.

The address listed on several police reports indicate Campus Crossing Apartments as his residence.

Sunday morning, minutes before the church shooting, Emanuel Samson was posting on Facebook. One of his last cryptic messages read, "Become the creator instead of what’s created. Whatever you say, goes."

Emanuel Samson is charged with one count of murder and several other pending charges. His father and sister did not return News 4’s calls for comment.

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