Church shooting leaves one woman dead, six injured

A woman has been killed and at least six people suffered gunshot wounds when a man opened fire at a US church before shooting himself as one of the worshippers confronted him with a firearm

The shooter, described as a man in his 20s, walked into Nashville's Burnette Chapel Church of Christ on Sunday wearing a ski mask and opened fire, spokesman Don Aaron of the Metropolitan Nashville Police told reporters.

The church's pastor was shot in the chest and was being treated at a hospital, local TV reported, citing the pastor's son.

A church usher confronted the gunman but was quickly struck in the head with the gun.

Although injured, the usher went to the parking lot, took a gun out of his vehicle and re-entered the sanctuary.

The suspect then shot and wounded himself.

"This is an exceptionally brave individual," Aaron said during a briefing outside the church in Antioch, about 16km southeast of downtown Nashville.

Police have not determined the motive behind the shooting, but the spokesman said certain items were found that might establish why the man opened fire.

One woman was fatally shot in the parking lot, where she was found lying next to the suspect's blue SUV, which was still running when police arrived.

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