September 30, 2017
"I sat out here. It was early Monday morning and I was looking up and I could see Orion's Belt," Carter said. "I mean just how great — don’t understand why — but how great God truly is." Terry CarterThe sound of gunfire haunts Terry Carter.
She and the young students in her Bible class barricaded a classroom door one week ago as a masked man opened fire at Burnette Chapel Church of Christ, killing one woman and injuring the minister and six others, police said.
The shooter did not go into the classroom, but the Sunday morning mayhem clings to Carter's thoughts.
"You can’t get some of the stuff out of your head for a while," Carter said. "I’ll gradually get there. But those sounds. The pop."
Carter and other members of the small Antioch church are trying to process what happened in the violent attack. In the midst of the pain and big unanswered questions, the congregation is moving forward.
The crime scene tape is gone and so is the carpet in the chapel. The 25-year-old suspect, Emanuel Samson, is in jail on a homicide charge. They have buried 38-year-old Melanie Crow, who was gunned down at the end of last week's service. And the victims who remain in the hospital are in stable condition.
After the Wednesday night service ended, Carter stood in the church parking lot chatting. Her great-grandchildren played nearby.
"It’s kind of a relief that we can get together and have a fellowship," Carter said. "That’s what we’re supposed to do, have fellowship and encourage each other. It’s going to take a whole lot of encouragement."
She was not certain the Wednesday service would occur nor that she would want to attend Sunday. But Carter will be there equipped with plans for better classroom safety.
She remembers hearing the first shot. It sounded too close. Carter put her finger to her lips, told the children to be quiet and turned off the classroom lights. Together, they moved furniture in front of a door and she cycled through scenarios in her mind.
Carter has her own questions. She knows nothing is guaranteed in life, but her faith is strong and she believes God is everywhere, Carter said.
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