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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.

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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.”

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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.”

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“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.

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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.

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Police said, eight members of the group gathered for Bible study died at the spot, while one succumbed to injuries at the hospital.