Emanuel Kidega Samson who opened fire at the Burnette Chapel Church of Christ in Antioch, a town south of Nashville, Tennessee, in September leaving one dead and seven others injured, told the police that he often heard voices and had visions. He also said that he saw a church in his vision. A detective testified in court Monday confirming Samson's claim, the Daily Mail Online reported. 

Nashville Police Detective Steve Jolley told the court that Samson did not reveal much about his vision of the chapel and was very vague in his answers when probed by the police. However, he wept during a discussion of “pain”. 

“He was just very vague and he didn't really elaborate on anything,” Jolley said during a hearing in the Davidson County General Sessions Court. The detective said that the investigators found a journal from Samson's home that included suicidal language in entries from 2014.

Jolley also mentioned the note he found on the dashboard of Samson’s Nissan Xterra that referenced revenge for Dylann Roof, the white supremacist who killed nine black worshipers at a South Carolina church in 2015, USA Today affiliate, the Tennessean reported.

He also added that the note was very brief and read that white supremacist and the Charleston shooter Dylann Roof "was less than nothing”. The detective, however, specified that Samson intended to even the score for the shooting in Charleston.

The U.S. Department of Justice has now made the case a civil rights investigation that would determine whether or not the shooting at Burnette Chapel Church was racially or religiously motivated. Apart from the detective, Robert "Caleb" Engle, a churchgoer at Burnette Chapel, who was credited with helping stop Samson, also testified in court Monday.

Engle described the day of the shooting as chaotic and remembered the suspect shooting multiple people including Joey Spann, minister at the Burnette Chapel Church. Engle also revealed how he tried to stop Samson until help arrived. He also described how Samson fatally shot a woman, Melanie Smith, who was walking to her car. Then Samson entered the rear of the church and shot six others. An usher in the church confronted the suspect, who accidentally shot himself during the struggle. 

Samson was then treated for his injuries from gunshots at Vanderbilt University Hospital and was released later. Since then he has remained in police custody. Don Aaron, a spokesman for the Metro Nashville Police Department had clarified after the incident that Samson of Murfreesboro, had come to the U.S. from Sudan in 1996 and is a legal resident in the country, but police did not clarify if he is a citizen.

Samson is a native of Khartoum, Sudan, according to his Facebook page. According to the police, Samson had no previous criminal record and was a bodybuilder by profession. He had also won the National Physique Committee men’s physique competition at Music City Muscle in November 2016. 

“I aspire to inspire & lift while UPlifting,” he wrote on his Instagram profile. “Classic physique competitor on a path of domination! Let’s Get it!”