Charleston, SC - At 9 p.m. this evening, a white man said to be in his 20s entered the oldest African Methodist Episcopal church in the south and started shooting.
Details are few but outlets are reporting that at least eight people have been injured or killed.
According to police, the shooter is still on the loose.
Story developing. Will update when new details become available.
Wed Jun 17, 2015 at 8:06 PM PT: Having scanned several reports, information is unclear if the number being quoted indicates those injured or dead. According to USA Today, the death toll is derived from social media reports. Others outlets are sticking with "eight shot" but providing no details about whether that means dead or injured.
Wed Jun 17, 2015 at 8:25 PM PT: The CNN Breaking News ticker is now saying that officials have said there are multiple fatalities.
USA Today is quoting a tweet by South Carolina Rep. Peter McCoy saying that nine people were confirmed dead.
Wed Jun 17, 2015 at 8:36 PM PT: Multiple outlets are being very specific about the age of the shooter, saying he is 21. This could possibly mean that they know who is responsible?
Wed Jun 17, 2015 at 8:42 PM PT: According to The Guardian: "Reporters on the scene say they are being asked to move away from Calhoun Street, the site of the shooting, with some suggestion of a possible bomb threat."
Wed Jun 17, 2015 at 9:16 PM PT: Jeb Bush has cancelled the event he planned to hold in Charleston today (Thursday).
Wed Jun 17, 2015 at 9:23 PM PT: According to Raw Story, the Summerville Journal-Scene is reporting a suspect's name. I have no idea how valid this is so won't be repeating it here until other sources verify.
Wed Jun 17, 2015 at 9:32 PM PT: "ABC News affiliate WCIV reports that the church's reverend and his sister were shot in the incident but their condition is unknown and it is unclear whether there were any further injuries or fatalities."
The Reverend is Clementa Pinckney. You can read more about him here: http://www.emanuelamechurch.org/...
Wed Jun 17, 2015 at 9:36 PM PT: Network news seems pathetically confused about "why" anyone would attack a church...in the South... Could it be a hate crime? They ask earnestly. SMH.
Wed Jun 17, 2015 at 9:47 PM PT: South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley is similarly mystified about why this might have happened. "While we do not yet know all of the details, we do know that we’ll never understand what motivates anyone to enter one of our places of worship and take the life of another."
Wed Jun 17, 2015 at 9:50 PM PT: News conference: Call came into 911 at 9:05. Confirmed 8 deceased. Two individuals were sent to the hospital but one has since died.
Wed Jun 17, 2015 at 9:53 PM PT: Police tracked suspect with K9s. Confirmed that a bomb threat was made.
Wed Jun 17, 2015 at 9:56 PM PT: Reward will be announced tomorrow. Police have asked media to work with them closely on leads.
Police confirm that there are survivors but will not speak specifically.
Wed Jun 17, 2015 at 9:57 PM PT: Police Chief confirms: I DO BELIEVE THIS WAS A HATE CRIME.
Wed Jun 17, 2015 at 11:10 PM PT: While unconfirmed, South Carolina most likely lost an important voice today.
Reverend Pinckney, who was also a State Senator, "campaigned for legislation to require law enforcement officials to wear body cameras while working... The body camera requirement became law one week ago."
4:55 AM PT: Turned on TV this morning to CNN - to find them hosting a panel discussion on whether or not it is right to call this a "hate crime". Panel host says "why not just call it a crime and say we are investigating?" Goes on to ask panel why it thinks there is so much pushback online about calling it a "hate crime"?
5:35 AM PT: NAACP statement: “The NAACP was founded to fight against racial hatred and we are outraged that 106 years later, we are faced today with another mass hate crime. Our heartfelt prayers and soul-deep condolences go out to the families and community of the victims at Charleston’s historic Emanuel AME Church. The senselessly slain parishioners were in a church for Wednesday night bible study. There is no greater coward than a criminal who enters a house of God and slaughters innocent people engaged in the study of scripture. Today, I mourn as an AME minister, as a student and teacher of scripture, as well as a member of the NAACP.”
5:38 AM PT: Charleston police say that the shooter was in the church for roughly an hour before the shooting - making the grotesque even more so.
5:58 AM PT: The Justice Department has announced that it is opening a Hate Crime investigation into the shooting.
6:02 AM PT: Family member of deceased, Sylvia Johnson, has said that shooter reloaded five times. When people tried to talk him down, he reportedly replied: I have to do it, you rape our women and you have taken over our country and you have to go.
6:52 AM PT: The Guardian: "Deanna Pan of the Charleston Post & Courier points out that with nine dead, this would be the deadliest mass shooting at a house of worship in the US since 1982 (per Mother Jones’ data on mass shootings).
In 2012, a shooting at a Sikh Temple in Wisconsin killed seven people and injured three."
6:55 AM PT: Confirmed: Six women and three men killed. Three people survived. Some reports (unconfirmed) say the killer allowed one of the survivors to live so that she could tell others what happened and "why".
7:36 AM PT: The shooter has been identified. Dylann Storm Roof. 21 years old. Two prior arrests this year - one for trespassing, one for drugs possession.
8:04 AM PT: Roof's uncle reports that he was given a gun as a birthday present.
8:17 AM PT: In a now widely distributed photo, Roof is shown wearing a jacket with two sewn on patches. One represents South Africa's Apartheid government, the other was the flag of Rhodesia.
Rhodesia was an unrecognized minority-controlled state just north of South Africa. Headed by Ian Smith, it existed from 1965 to 1979. Today, the country is known as Zimbabwe.
Of the estimated 30,000 Zimbabweans killed during Smith's rule. 'The more we killed, the happier we were. We were fighting terrorists.'
8:27 AM PT: White House: President Obama will make a statement on the South Carolina mass shooting around 11.45am.
8:33 AM PT: Multiple sources are reporting the Roof was captured in Shelby, North Carolina. Shelby is 245 miles northwest of Charleston.
8:36 AM PT: A. G. Lynch confirms capture.
8:41 AM PT: Prayer vigil to be held at church at noon.
8:44 AM PT: Charleston Police Chief has also confirmed. FBI in Shelby and SC agents on their way.
From start to finish, there seems to have been incredible cooperation between the Feds and various different state agencies.
According to WRAL in NC: Roof's childhood friend, Joey Meek, alerted the FBI after recognizing him in a surveillance camera image that was widely circulated, said Meek's mother, Kimberly Kozny. Roof had worn that sweatshirt over to their house many times as they played Xbox videogames in recent weeks, she added.
Read more at http://www.wral.com/...
8:49 AM PT: This shooting "should be a warning to us all that we do have a problem in our society," said state Rep. Wendell Gilliard, a Democrat whose district includes the church. "We need action. There's a race problem in our country. There's a gun problem in our country. We need to act on them quickly."
8:51 AM PT: City of Charleston has started a Mother Emanuel Hope Fund with a founding donation of $5,000.
Contributions can be made through Wells Fargo or mailed to Box 304, Charleston 29402.
Charleston is hosting a community prayer vigil tomorrow evening.
9:24 AM PT: Obama: Mother Emanuel was more than a church. Details the history of church slave origins and racist attacks through history. "This is a sacred place in history of Charleston and the history of America."
"I have had to make statements like this too many times. Communities like this have had to endure tragedies like this too many times."
9:25 AM PT: "This type of mass violence does not happen in other advanced countries."
9:33 AM PT: Said at memorial: "People of ill will in this country make a much better use of their time than people of good will."
9:35 AM PT: Representative Clyburn calls for the silence to be broken. People need to speak up. Standing ovation from standing room only crowd.
"If we stay silent, they win. They. Must. Not. Win."
10:07 AM PT: A second victim has been identified. Tywanza Sanders. He graduated from Allen University in 2014 with a degree in business administration.
10:28 AM PT: Desperate to fill time, 24 hour news channels babble nonsense. "We need to have a talk about race" is interspersed with hard hitting questions like "are our churches safe enough?"
10:41 AM PT: The identity of the victims are slowly being made public. Confirmed dead:
Pastor Clementa Pinckney, father of two, State Senator;
Sharonda Coleman-Singleton, mother of three, high school track coach, reverend;
Cynthia Hurd, a librarian with the Charleston County Public Library (CCPL). All 16 libraries in the system are closed today in mourning.
Tywanza Sanders. He graduated from Allen University in 2014 with a degree in business administration.
Buzzfeed has social media images posted by loved ones. http://www.buzzfeed.com/...
11:02 AM PT: Myra Thompson, wife of reverend Anthony Thompson, who is the Vicar at Holy Trinity REC. Rev Thompson himself was not among the victims.
12:08 PM PT: Ethel Lee Lance, a 30 year church employee. Her grandson says that she was the heart of the family.
Daniel L. Simmons, a member of the church's ministerial staff.
12:14 PM PT: All victims have now been formally identified by coroner.