He asked for prayers for the victims and their families, adding, "Please pray for the shooter, the shooter's family and friends. Whatever you say, goes", another read. Police said they later recovered another pistol and a rifle from the suspect's vehicle.
"He has all their feelings at heart", said Rheta Engle, 69.
Police say he saved "countless lives" by confronting Emanuel Samson.
"After the gunman suffered the self-inflicted wound, the church usher... ran to his auto, got his gun, came back in, and made sure the gunman didn't make any more movements until the police officers arrived", Aaron told journalists.
"Mr. Samson didn't expect Mr. Engle to encounter him, to struggle with him, to try to stop the shooting", said Don Aaron, the spokesman for the Metropolitan Nashville Police Department.
Samson told police he arrived at the church at 10:55 a.m. and "fired upon the church building", according to a police affidavit.
Aaron said he was "not aware" of any relationship between the alleged gunman and any of the worshippers inside the church.
A 39 year old churchgoer was fatally shot in the vehicle park of the church which is located ten miles south east of downtown Nashville.
The Memphis FBI Field Office's Nashville Resident Agency, the Civil Rights Division and the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Middle District of Tennessee have opened a civil rights investigation into the shooting.More news: Who loves a parade? Trump wants to showcase military might
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Law enforcement continues their investigation around the Burnette Chapel Church of Christ on September 24, 2017, in Antioch, Tennessee.
Minerva Rosa, who was inside the church at the time, called him a "hero" for putting himself in harm's way to protect others and believes without him, "it could be worse".
Congregants who witnessed the shootings were being interviewed by investigators.
He had written: "Everything you've ever doubted or made to be believe as false, is real".
Smith's daughter, Breanna, 19, said before her mother left the house, she tapped on the window to wave goodbye.
All of the wounded except for one are more than 60-years-old, according to officials.
The shooter has been described as a Rutherford County man in his mid 20s.
- Metro Nashville PD (@MNPDNashville) September 24, 2017Such tragic news in Antioch today at Burnette Chapel Church of Christ.
The gunman was discharged hours later from Vanderbilt University Hospital but remained in police custody.