Nine are dead and at least one is injured after a gunman entered Emanuel AME Church in Charleston, South Carolina—one of the oldest black churches in the South—last night and opened fire. Police say the suspect, a slender white male in his early 20s, is still at large and they are investigating the shooting as a hate crime.
“The only reason someone would walk into a church and shoot people that were praying is out of hate,” said Charleston Mayor Joe Riley. Police have still not identified all of the victims—six women, three men—but among the dead was State Senator Clementa Pinckney, the senior pastor of Emanuel AME.
A bomb threat called in to the area near the shooting late last night complicated the investigation, but there does not appear to have been an actual bomb.
Rev. Clements Pinckney, a SC legislator is among the 9 killed in SC church. I am reminded that he helped lead our prayer vigil for Scott.June 18, 2015
[Image via WCIV-TV]