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9 killed in shooting in South Carolina church

PTI Washington | Updated on January 24, 2018

Nine persons, including a state senator, were killed today when a white gunman opened fire inside a historic black church in Charleston in the US state of South Carolina, in what police called a “hate crime“.

At a news conference today, Charleston’s police chief Greg Mullen confirmed that nine people were killed after the white gunman opened fire inside the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in downtown Charleston.

Mullen called the shooting “a hate crime“.

The shooter has been described as clean-shaved, white man in his early 20s, with a small, slender build, wearing a grey sweatshirt with jeans and boots. He was still at large.

Eight persons died inside the church, while another one was declared dead at a hospital.

The church’s pastor, state Senator Clementa Pinckney, was among those killed. Pinckney, 41, is survived by his wife, Jennifer, and two children — Eliana and Malana.

A meeting was going on at the time of the shooting at the church at around 9 PM local time.

“This is an unspeakable and heartbreaking tragedy in this most historic church, an evil and hateful person took the lives of citizens who had come to worship and pray together,” Charleston Mayor Joe Riley said in a statement.

South Carolina Governor Indian-American Nikki Haley said her family was praying for the victims and families touched by the senseless tragedy.

“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,” she said in a statement. “Please join us in lifting up the victims and their families with our love and prayers.”

No information has been released yet about the victims of one of the worst mass shootouts in the history of the State.

Helicopters were seen hovering above the area.

Democrat presidential hopeful Hillary Clinton was attending a fundraiser prior to the shooting at a home less than half a mile away and left before the shooting occurred.

Republican presidential hopeful Jeb Bush was scheduled to have an event tomorrow less than a mile away from where the incident occurred. The event has been cancelled.

The 19th Century Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church is one of the oldest in the US.

Denmark Vesey — one of the church’s founders — was a leader of a failed slave revolt in 1822.

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Published on June 18, 2015
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