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NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – Catherine Dickerson is alive Tuesday to share the harrowing details of the senseless mass shooting inside an Antioch church last Sunday.
The 64-year-old was shot in the leg when a gunman opened fire shortly after 11 a.m. at the Burnette Chapel Church of Christ on Pin Hook Road. One woman died, and five others were shot.
The mask the gunman wore during the mass shooting at the small congregation in Antioch still haunts Dickerson.
“It was black and then it had a triangle that came like this, and then I thought it was like two recatngles that came like this and it was scary,” she told News 2.
She recounts the moment she heard two gunshots outside of the church before seeing the gunman in black.
“I saw an assailant in black, black mask on, holding a gun like this,” Dickerson said.
She told News 2 she then took off running.
“As I’m running, I get shot in my left thigh.”
Dickerson then made her way inside the church where she played dead in the foyer.
PHOTOS: Mass shooting at Antioch church
“Kind of just spread my legs out and my hands, and then threw my head kind of back, and then put my purse over my face and tried to play like I was dead,” she explained.
During that time, Dickerson heard numerous gunshots.
“People had barricaded themselves in the bathrooms and the dressing rooms of the baptistery and the children were still in children’s’ church,” she told News 2.
As Dickerson lay calmly, her mind was racing.
“He could come back and kill me, but if he does I’m going to heaven, I’m in a win-win situation here. I’m just going to lay still,” she thought.
Dickerson says guardian angels were looking over her as she is now a survivor, along with her dress with bullet holes.
“One bullet came in and came out and it came in the dress and out the dress. Incredible. Incredible.”
Dickerson also showed News 2 her blood-stained shoes.
“This is a blood stain and this is a blood stain that I wasn’t able to get off,” she said.
While Dickerson’s leg will likely be scarred from the bullet, her heart is filled with forgiveness.
“I’ve been forgiven a lot. We all have, and that’s just the nature of God that’s supposed to show through a Christian. That’s how you just grow with the lord. When you get older, you walk with the lord. It just changes your mind, changes your thought process totally” she explained.
Dickerson is forgiving, although police say Emanuel Samson fired at her church family.
“All of those people in the church loved him and would have helped him. I hope he gets the help that he needs and that he’s okay,” she told News 2.
Instead of being angry, she wants to speak with Samson in hopes that he heels.
“I want to ask him why, and tell him I’m so sorry, and that I wish he’d come to us, and if you need any help we can help him, and that I’m really sorry, but now, you know, he’s now in the justice system, and you know we can send him cards and do whatever we can for him, and I do wish he had come and asked us for help, because whatever the problem is we would have loved to have helped him.”