Member of the Tennessee Valley Unitarian Church found themselves diving under the pews or running for cover to prevent from being shot when a gunman opened fire during a youth performance Sunday which started at 10:00 am. A performance called “Annie Jr.” was being done by children in the summer musical theater workshop.

Two people were killed, including one that witness say was a hero for jumping in front of the gunman to keep others from being shot. Witnesses say that Greg McKendry, 60 was an usher of the church and a longtime church member. They say he stood in front of the gunman and took the blast to protect the rest of them.

Also killed was Linda Kraeger, 61. She was taken to the University of Tennessee Medical Center where she died a few hours later.

Five people are listed in critical or serious condition. Two others that were hurt were treated and released.

The church promotes progressive social work such as desegregation and fighting for the rights of women and gays. No one seems to know what set the gunman off but he apparently started shouting hateful words before he opened fire.

Member of the congregation tackled the gunman and held him until police arrived. Jim Addison, 58 has been arrested and charged with first degree murder and is being held on $1 million bail according to city spokesman Randy Kenner.

Jan Barrett

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