ANTIOCH, TENNESSEE - Nashville police officers are calling 22-year-old Caleb Engle a hero for physically confronting a masked gunman at Burnette Chapel Church of Christ Sunday afternoon.
Police say he saved "countless lives" by confronting Emanuel Samson.
"Mr. Engle is the hero," Nashville police spokesman Don Aaron said. "Mr. Engle saved countless lives here today. It could have been much worse."
After Engle's confrontation with Samson, he went to his car in the parking lot to get a gun. That's when he forced Samson to the ground until authorities arrived.
Members of the congregation, still shaken after the shooting, were proud of Engle.
"An outstanding young man, even before today," one member, Tammy, said. "Today just proved his character."
Caleb Engle's grandmother also praised him, saying she is very proud.
"That's like him. He's just someone who cares about a lot of people," Rheta Engle said.
Caleb released a statement saying he doesn't consider himself a hero.
"I've been going to this church my whole life, since I was a small child. I would have never, ever thought something like this would have happened. I ask everyone to pray for the victims, family members of the victims, our church community. Please pray for healing. Also, please pray for the shooter, the shooter's family and friends. They are hurting as well."
When he was compliment about his heroism, he said:
"I do not want to be labeled a hero. The real heroes are the police, the first responders and medical staff and doctors who have helped me and everyone affected. My hope is for privacy for all involved."
Engle is still in the hospital being treated for his injuries after the shooting inside the church Nashville police spokesman Don Aaron said.
Samson has been charged for murder and expected to be charged for attempted murder.
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