SOUTH CAROLINA (Web Desk) – Nine people have been killed in a shooting at an African-American church in Charleston, South Carolina. The shooter is still at large, reports CNN.
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Police said, the suspect in the shooting is a clean-shaven white man in his 20’s, with a slender build, and wearing grey sweatshirt, jeans and boots.
The shooting took place at the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church, the oldest AME church in the South, where people had gathered for a Bible study in the basement.
The incident is being called a hate crime. Charleston Mayor Joe Riley said, “The only reason someone would walk into a church and shoot people that were praying is hate.”
Local pastor Thomas Dixon said, “Apparently the person just entered the church and opened fire. That part has not been fully articulated on what happened yet … they are still looking for the suspect.”
“It’s really bad. It’s a very bad scene,” Dixon said. Members of the Charleston community gathered in a prayer circle just down the street from the scene.
Relatives of the shooting victims have started to arrive on the scene. Police are asking anyone with information about the shooting to call 911 dispatchers.
Police said, eight members of the group gathered for Bible study died at the spot, while one succumbed to injuries at the hospital.