Antioch Church Gunman Attended Unarmed Security Training Class Before Attack

Posted at 1:34 PM, Sep 25, 2017
and last updated 2017-09-26 12:10:43-04

Two days before opening fire at an Antioch church in an attack that killed one person and injured six others, Emanuel Samson was sitting in a Nashville classroom taking a course to become an unarmed security guard.

Buford Tune, owner of the private security instruction company Academy of Personal Protection and Security, said he made the realization Monday, after checking over class paperwork from the previous week.

VIEW: Samson's Course Registration Form

Tune says the 6-8 hour class covers various laws surrounding security guards in Tennessee, and legal matters such as proper searches. Tune says the class does not cover any physical or defense tactics.

Tune says Samson didn’t stand out in class, aside from his physical size.

“He was a big guy,” Tune said.

Tune says during the class, he remembers Samson scolding another class member for not paying attention to the instruction.

Successful completion of an Unarmed Security course, along with a background check, is required to hold an Unarmed Security Guard license in the state of Tennessee, and to be employed as an unarmed security guard.

According to the registration form Samson filled out, he was referred to the class by the security operations manager at Crimson Security Services, based out of Smyrna.  Tune says Samson had worked Saturday night as a guard for that company, just hours before opening fire at the Burnette Chapel Church of Christ in Antioch.  

State records show Samson previously held an Unarmed Security license in Tennessee beginning in January 2014, but the license expired two years later without being renewed.

Samson is currently behind bars, facing a murder charge following the church attack. The Metro Nashville Police Department says several more charges, including attempted murder, will be forthcoming.

Crimson Security Services later released the following statement: 

"Mr. Samson was hired by our company to work as an unarmed security officer.   He attended and completed State mandated classes  on Friday September 22, 2017. He submitted his documentation to Crimson Security Service per the state requirements. He first reported to work on Saturday September 23, 2017 for training purposes only. There was no incident or indication of any problem with Mr. Samson at any time during his shift. The company received a text from him on Sunday morning around 10:00 am advising that he would not return to work for us. Crimson Security Service  terminated his employment upon receipt of his message.  That was the last communication Crimson Security Service had with Mr. Samson.  As a locally based member of the community, Crimson Security is deeply saddened by this tragedy and is more dedicated than ever to keeping our community safe."