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  1. #1
    Senior Member JohnDoe2's Avatar
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    Police responding to a 'mass shooting' in Charleston, S.C.

    Police responding to a 'mass shooting' in Charleston, S.C.


    Charleston police are responding to a shooting at a downtown church on June 17, 2015. (Reuters)


    By Tribune wire reports contact the reporter


    Police were responding to a call of a "mass shooting" at a church in South Carolina Wednesday evening, according to numerous media reports. The Associated Press indicated that the incident occurred at Emmanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston around 9 p.m.

    lRelated
    NATION & WORLD Photos: Shooting at Charleston church SEE ALL RELATED

    The suspected shooter is still at large, according to the Charleston Police Department's Twitter. Police described the suspect as a white male, approximately 21 years old, with a slender build. They also indicated he is believed to be wearing a gray sweatshirt, blue jeans and Timberland boots.


    Orlando MLS team to stay in Charleston hotel despite nearby mass shooting

    The Post and Courier newspaper is reporting that the pastor of the church was inside for a service at the time of the shooting.

    But it was unclear if the shooting took place inside the church.

    An Associated Press reporter on the scene says police helicopters with searchlights are circling overhead in the area, and a group of pastors are kneeling and praying across the street.

    Police Spokesman Charles Francis confirmed that media crews were pushed a block away from the center of police activity to the corner of King and Calhoun because of an alleged bomb threat at the Charleston Marriott hotel.

    The Emmanuel AME church is a historic African-American church that traces its roots to 1816, when several churches split from Charleston's Methodist Episcopal church.


    One of its founders, Denmark Vesey, tried to organize a slave revolt in 1822. He was caught, and white landowners had his church burned in revenge. Parishioners worshipped underground until after the Civil War.


    This is a developing story, please check back for details.

    Associated Press contributed to this report

    http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/n...617-story.html
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    Senior Member JohnDoe2's Avatar
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    Charleston church shooting: Multiple fatalities in South Carolina, source says

    By Ed Payne, CNN
    Updated 12:09 AM ET, Thu June 18, 2015

    (CNN)[Latest developments]

    -- The mayor and the police chief are expected to hold a news briefing shortly
    -- An official close to the investigation told CNN there are multiple fatalities inside the church. The source said there are several bodies in the church that have not yet been identified.
    -- The suspect in the shooting is a clean-shaven white man in his 20s, with a slender build, police say.
    [Full story]

    Several people were killed in a shooting at a historic African-American church in Charleston, South Carolina, a source close to the investigation told CNN.


    The shooter is still at large.


    The shooting took place Wednesday evening at the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church, the oldest AME church in the South.


    Police haven't said how many people have been shot. But the source who spoke to CNN said several bodies were in the church that were yet to be identified.


    "It's really bad. It's a very bad scene," 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."


    Search on for suspect


    Police said the suspect in the shooting is a clean-shaven white man in his 20s, with a slender build. He was wearing a gray sweatshirt, blue jeans and boots.

    Soon afterward, news cameras showed officers taking a man matching that description into custody, but police said they were still looking for the shooter.


    The department asked anyone with information to call 911 dispatchers


    Historic significance

    Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church was formed in 1816 when African-American members of Charleston's Methodist Episcopal Church formed their own congregation after a dispute over burial grounds.

    Six years later, one of the church founders was implicated in a slave revolt plot. He wasn't convicted.


    During the case, the church was burned to the ground. It was rebuilt in 1834.


    Heavy police presence


    Every Wednesday evening, the church holds a Bible study in its basement.

    Corey Wessenger, who was standing across the street from the church, said the area was swarming with law enforcement.


    "I just saw a group of about 40 people escorted by cops," Wessenger told CNN by phone.


    Community members gathered in a prayer circle just down the street from the scene.


    Patrick Wright, a reporter with WFMY News, tweeted, "We've been told not to leave our restaurant here in #Charleston for the time being. Helicopter still circling above."

    http://www.cnn.com/2015/06/18/us/cha...lina-shooting/
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  3. #3
    Senior Member JohnDoe2's Avatar
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    Police confirm bomb threat at scene of downtown Charleston shooting

    Posted: Jun 17, 2015 6:08 PM PDTUpdated: Jun 17, 2015 9:04 PM PDT

    Emergency officials in downtown Charleston Wednesday night (Source: WCSC)

    Emergency officials in downtown Charleston Wednesday night (Source: WCSC)

    (Source: WCSC)

    CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) -Charleston Police have confirmed a bomb threat has been called in Wednesday night at the scene of a shooting in downtown Charleston.

    Additional Links


    Man taken into custody during Charleston shooting investigation has been released


    SLIDESHOW: Shooting reported at downtown Charleston church


    Police are pushing media and bystanders across Meeting Street after a bomb threat was reported in the area of Emanuel AME Church near 110 Calhoun Street.

    According to Charleston Police, people in the area have not been asked to evacuate their homes at this time.


    WATCH: Live 5 News continuing coverage


    Authorities say they are continuing to search for the suspect who allegedly fired shots at the church around 9 p.m.


    CPD officials describe the suspect as a white male, 21 years old, slender/small build, grey sweat shirt, blue jeans and clean shaven.


    SLIDESHOW: Shooting reported at downtown Charleston church


    A helicopter is assisting law enforcement on the scene.


    A big police presence was seen at the Emanuel AME Church on Calhoun Street. The FBI and the Chaplain service are on the scene.


    CPD officials have not released any information yet on any victims.


    Pictures and video from the scene show the fire department and ambulance crews have responded.


    At least six ambulances were spotted in the area of the shooting.

    http://www.kait8.com/story/29347341/...eston-shooting

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  4. #4
    Senior Member Judy's Avatar
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    Oh this is just awful. These poor families who lost loved ones and friends. A no-good low-life did this.
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  5. #5
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    Moved to Other Topic - Off topic for General Discussion.

  6. #6
    Senior Member JohnDoe2's Avatar
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    Manhunt on for gunman who killed 9 at South Carolina church prayer meeting

    Published June 18, 2015 FoxNews.com




    A frantic manhunt was on in South Carolina, hours after a "horrible scoundrel" opened fire in a historic African-American church in downtown Charleston, killing nine, including a state senator who is a prominent pastor, during a regular prayer meeting.

    Police immediately branded the shooting spree, which began just after 9 p.m. Wednesday, a hate crime, and released surveillance images of a white man fleeing the scene at 180-year-old Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church after the horrific incident, which left six women and three men dead.


    "This is an unspeakable and unfathomable act by somebody filled with hate and a deranged mind," Charleston Mayor Joseph Riley said in a Thursday morning press conference. He vowed that authorities were "committed to finding this horrible scoundrel."

    "This is an unspeakable and unfathomable act by somebody filled with hate and a deranged mind."
    - Charleston, S.C., Mayor Joseph Riley

    A five-year-old girl reportedly survived the attack by following her grandmother's instructions to play dead, and a woman was allowed to leave to tell what had happened. It was not immediately known what message she was supposed to convey.


    Charleston Police Chief Greg Mullen said the gunman, described as clean-shaven and approximately 21 years old with sandy blonde hair and a slender build, was still at large. Police said the man was last seen wearing a gray sweatshirt with blue jeans and Timberland boots.


    More on this...





    “We are committed to do whatever is necessary to bring this individual to justice,” Mullen said, adding that the suspect “should not be approached by anyone.”

    Related Image


    Expand / Contract

    June 17, 2015: Police and ambulances responded to the scene of a shooting in Charleston, S.C. (Photo courtesy WCSC)


    Mullen said the suspect entered the church and sat in a pew for up to an hour after the regular prayer meeting had begun, before opening fire at 9:06 p.m.
    "This is a tragedy that no community should have to experience," Mullen said. "It is senseless and unfathomable in today's society that someone would walk into a church during a prayer meeting and take their lives."
    Mullen said investigators are going through surveillance video gathered overnight from a variety of sources to try to determine the suspect’s whereabouts. State Police and the FBI were working with local authorities in the hunt. Although Mullen said “there is no doubt in my mind that this is a hate crime,” the Department of Justice, which will ultimately make that determination, said it is opening a hate crime investigation.
    Mullen said the scene was chaotic when police arrived, and the officers thought they had the suspect tracked with a police dog, but he got away. He also announced that a reward for information leading to the shooter's capture would be offered Thursday and that the FBI would aid the investigation.
    Authorities said the crime scene investigation had been complicated by a bomb threat that had been called in, forcing police to move members of the media back and close off a large section of the street where the shooting took place.
    Among the dead was the church's pastor, state Sen. Clementa Pinckney, 41, who had been a pastor since he was 18. Pinckney was the youngest African-American elected to the South Carolina legislature when he won office in 1996 at age 23 and had been a state senator since 2000. The other victims were not immediately identified.
    Soon after Wednesday night's shooting, a group of pastors huddled together praying in a circle across the street. Early Thursday, a family assistance center was set up for families of the victims at a nearby hotel, according to city officials. The center will be staffed by local, state and federal victim services personnel and the Charleston Coastal Chaplaincy.
    Amid the prayers and disbelief, was a simmering anger. Community organizer Christopher Cason told The Associated Press he felt certain the shootings were racially motivated.
    "I am very tired of people telling me that I don't have the right to be angry," Cason said. "I am very angry right now."
    Authorities said the shooting took place at approximately 9 p.m. local time. Police would not immediately confirm the identities of the victims. Mullen said there were survivors, but did not say how many, or how many were inside the church at the time of the shooting.
    Dot Scott, the president of the Charleston NAACP, told the Post and Couriernewspaper that she had spoken with a female survivor who said the gunman told the woman he was letting her live so she could tell others what had happened.
    "There is no greater coward than a criminal who enters a house of God and slaughters innocent people engaged in the study of Scripture," NAACP President and CEO Cornell Brooks said in a statement Thursday. "Today I mourn as an AME minister, as a student and teacher of scripture, as well as a member of the NAACP."
    Police described the suspect as wearing a gray sweatshirt with blue jeans and Timberland boots.
    The church is a well-known landmark in Charleston, known as "The Holy City" because of its many houses of worship and denominations. The church traces its roots to 1816 when African-American members of the city's Methodist Episcopal Church, led by a freed slave, broke away to form their own congregation. The church was burned to the ground in the 1820s, and rebuilt a decade later.
    The campaign of GOP presidential hopeful Jeb Bush sent out an email saying that due to the shooting, the candidate had canceled an event planned in the city Thursday. South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley issued a statement calling the shooting a "senseless tragedy."
    "While we do not yet know all of the details, we do know that we'll never understand what motivated anyone to enter one of our places of worship and take the life of another," Haley said. "Please join us in lifting up the victims and their families with our love and prayers."
    Sen. Tim Scott, R-S.C. posted a series of Twitter message about the tragedy. "My heart is breaking for Charleston and South Carolina tonight," one of them read.

    http://www.foxnews.com/us/2015/06/18...-at-sc-church/

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  7. #7
    Senior Member JohnDoe2's Avatar
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    Law enforcement officials reportedly have identified the alleged suspect as 21-year-old Dylann Roof, of Eastover, a town in Richland County, South Carolina.
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  8. #8
    Senior Member JohnDoe2's Avatar
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    View image on Twitter


    Follow

    Berkeley County SC @BerkeleySCGov

    Suspect in #Charleston shooting identified as 21 yr old Dylann Roof. If you know his whereabouts, call 1-800-CALL-FBI
    7:05 AM - 18 Jun 2015
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  9. #9
    Senior Member JohnDoe2's Avatar
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    Thu Jun 18, 2015 1:53pm EDT

    White suspect arrested in killing of nine at black U.S. church

    CHARLESTON, S.C. | BY HARRIET MCLEOD

    A 21-year-old white man suspected of killing nine people at a historic African-American church in Charleston, South Carolina was arrested on Thursday after an attack that the United States is investigating as a hate crime.

    Law enforcement officials arrested alleged gunman Dylann Roof after a traffic stop in Shelby, North Carolina, about 220 miles (350 km) north of Charleston, said police chief Gregory Mullen.


    "This individual committed a tragic, heinous crime last night," Mullen told reporters.


    The mass shooting on Wednesday followed months of racially charged protests over killings of black men which have shaken the United States.


    U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch said her office was investigating whether to charge Roof with a hate crime motivated by racial or other prejudice. Such crimes typically carry harsher penalties.


    "The fact that this took place in a black church obviously raises questions about a dark part of our history," U.S. President Barack Obama told reporters. "We don't have all the facts but we know that, once again, innocent people were killed in part because someone who wanted to inflict harm had no trouble getting their hands on a gun."


    The Southern Poverty Law Center, which researches U.S. hate groups, said the attack illustrates the dangers that home-grown extremists pose.


    "Since 9/11, our country has been fixated on the threat of Jihadi terrorism. But the horrific tragedy at the Emanuel AME reminds us that the threat of homegrown domestic terrorism is very real," the group said in a statement, referring to the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks on the United States.


    A man who identified himself as Roof's uncle earlier told Reuters Roof's father had recently given him a .45-caliber handgun as a birthday present and that Roof had seemed adrift.


    "I don't have any words for it," the uncle, Carson Cowles, 56, said in a telephone interview. "Nobody in my family had seen anything like this coming."


    RELATED COVERAGE




    The victims, six females and three males, included Reverend Clementa Pinckney, who was the church's pastor and a Democratic member of the state Senate, according to colleagues.

    Roof sat with churchgoers inside Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church for about an hour on Wednesday before opening fire, Mullen said, adding that police believe Roof acted alone.


    Demonstrations have rocked New York, Baltimore, Ferguson, Missouri and other cities following police killings of unarmed black men including Eric Garner, Freddie Gray and Michael Brown.


    A white police officer was charged with murder after he shot Walter Scott, an unarmed black man, in April in neighboring North Charleston.


    RELATED VIDEO


    DOJ launches hate crime probe in Charleston shooting


    'A LOT OF CONCERN'

    The local community reacted with shock and grief after Wednesday's mass shooting.


    "This is going to put a lot of concern to every black church when guys have to worry about getting shot in the church," said Tamika Brown while waiting for a noon prayer vigil at an AME church near the site of the shooting.


    "They might need security guards, police officers."


    Eight victims were found dead in the church, Mullen said, and a ninth died after being taken to hospital. Three people survived the attack. Officials did not immediately identify the other victims.


    RELATED COVERAGE




    Roof was charged on two separate occasions earlier this year with a drug offense and trespassing, according to court documents. In a Facebook profile apparently belonging to him, he is pictured wearing a jacket prominently featuring the flags of apartheid-era South Africa and Rhodesia, now Zimbabwe, from when the two African countries were ruled by their white minorities.

    Roof's mother, Amy, declined to comment when reached by phone.


    "We will be doing no interviews, ever," she said before hanging up.


    The shooter told one survivor he would let her live so she could tell others what happened, the president of the Charleston NAACP, Dot Scott, told the local Post and Courier newspaper.


    A cousin of Pinckney's, Sylvia Johnson, told MSNBC that a survivor of the shooting told her the gunman reloaded five times during the attack during a Bible-study group. Pinckney tried to talk him out of it, she said.


    "He just said, 'I have to do it. You rape our women and you're taking over our country," Johnson said.


    "It is a very, very sad day in South Carolina, but it is a day that we will get through," Governor Nikki Haley, a Republican, told reporters. "Parents are having to explain to their kids how they can go to church and feel safe, and that's not something we ever thought we'd deal with."


    http://www.reuters.com/article/2015/...0OY06A20150618
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  10. #10
    Senior Member JohnDoe2's Avatar
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    Charleston church shooting: Suspect confesses, says he sought race war

    By Greg Botelho and Ed Payne, CNN
    Updated 12:11 PM ET, Fri June 19, 2015
    | Video Source:CNN


    (CNN)Dylann Roof admits he did it, two law enforcement officials said -- shooting and killing nine people he'd sat with for Bible study at a historically black church in Charleston, South Carolina.

    But why? To start a race war.

    That's what Roof told investigators, according to one of the officials.

    CNN's Evan Perez and Wesley Bruer were the first to report Roof's confession. Others earlier gave a glimpse into his twisted motivation -- including at the time and site of the shooting, Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church. There, a survivor told Sylvia Johnson that Roof answered one man's pleas to stop by saying, "No, you've raped our women, and you are taking over the country ... I have to do what I have to do."

    His roommate told ABC News that Roof was "big into segregation."

    And the Berkeley County, South Carolina, government tweeted a picture of him in a jacket with flags from apartheid-era South Africa and nearby Rhodesia, a former British colony that was ruled by a white minority until it became independent in 1980.



    Charleston church shooting 16 photos

    EXPAND GALLERY

    By telling authorities his aim, Roof admitted he attacked unarmed civilians for political purposes in an act of terror.

    What led the 21-year-old South Carolinian to adopt this sick reasoning and take such actions Wednesday night? Did anyone else help him or even know about his plans? And what is his general mental state? All are major, looming questions. Another is what American society should or will do now, if anything, to prevent similar tragedies.

    In the meantime, nine families are left to mourn and a community is left to come together, ideally, to heal.
    "This hateful person came to this community with some crazy idea that he would be able to divide," Charleston Mayor Joseph Riley said. "And all he did was make us more united, and love each other even more."
    Help Charleston heal
    Victims' kin could speak at court hearing

    Roof is expected to appear before a South Carolina judge at 2 p.m. ET on Friday, according to Charleston police. He is accused of nine counts of murder and possession of a firearm during the commission of a violent crime.

    Despite being held in the jail directly behind the North Charleston courthouse, Roof will appear via video for security reasons, Magistrate James B. Gosnell Jr. said.
    While he wouldn't oversee any eventual trial, Gosnell will preside over Friday's hearing, at which time he can set bond on the gun-related charge but not the ones for murder, since only a circuit court judge can make that decision. Roof will be represented by Ashley Pennington, the head of the public defender's office appointed to the task.
    A hearing like this typically takes 15 to 20 minutes, Gosnell said, during which police Sgt. Richard Burkhardt will lay out the case and Roof should tell the court about his status, such as where he lives, if he's employed and if he has family nearby. But this one may take longer, since one representative from each of the nine victims has a right to make a brief statement.
    No question, Roof faces a long legal road ahead.
    It could end in his execution, assuming he's convicted and prosecutors seek (and are granted) such a death sentence,according to South Carolina law. Gov. Nikki Haley indicated that's what she wants, while Charleston's mayor -- while he doesn't support the death penalty personally -- thinks it's inevitable.
    "If you're going to have a death penalty," Riley said, "then certainly this case will merit it."
    Roommate: 'He wanted something big like Trayvon Martin'

    How did Dylann Roof get to the point of being accused of one of the most hateful, violent race-related crimes in recent memory?
    His uncle, Carson Cowles, told The Washington Post that Roof's mother "never raised him to be like this." Those who knew him, though, paint a picture of someone who has long voiced racist sentiments, even if they never anticipated he'd act on them like this.


    Who is church shooter Dylann Roof? 02:37

    PLAY VIDEO

    John Mullins recalls "racist slurs in a sense" that Roof made while the two attended White Knoll High School in Lexington, South Carolina, though he also remembers him having black friends.
    "He would say it just as a joke," Mullins told CNN. "I never took it seriously. But ... maybe (I) should have."
    Who is Dylann Roof?
    Joey Meek told ABC that talk of reinstating segregation was nothing new for Roof, his roommate. He'd been plotting something for six months, though authorities weren't tipped off.
    "I think he wanted something big like Trayvon Martin," Meek said, referring to the black Florida teen whose shooting death at the hands of George Zimmerman -- who was acquitted of murder -- provoked huge protests. "He wanted to make something spark up the race war again."
    Officials: Suspect bought a gun in April

    It's one thing to talk of stirring racial hatred, another to act on it to kill nine innocent people -- including the Rev. Clementa Pinckney, a state senator who had welcomed Roof into the Bible study session.
    One key part of this horrific scheme -- the weapon -- came in April, when Roof bought a .45-caliber handgun at a Charleston gun store, the two law enforcement officials told Perez and Bruer from CNN, the first network to report this development. His grandfather says that Roof was given "birthday money" and that the family didn't know what Roof did with it.


    New video shows church group moments before shooting 01:15

    PLAY VIDEO

    He apparently didn't hint at his intentions when he went to the historic church Wednesday. A Snapchat video shows him at a table with a small group, not anything to suggest the carnage to come.
    When the Bible study ended after about an hour, "they just heard just a ringing of a loud noise," Johnson said, relaying a survivor's account.
    From what Johnson heard, the gunman reloaded five times. Six women died at the scene, as did two men -- with a third, the Rev. Daniel Simmons Sr., passing away later during surgery. Johnson said her friend played dead, lying in the blood of her slain son.
    Before Roof left the church, he asked one of the elderly members whether he had shot her, and she said no.
    "And he said, 'Good, because we need a survivor because I'm going to kill myself,' " Johnson told CNN.
    Emanuel AME: A storied church in a historic city
    Woman spotted, followed suspect's car

    Roof then took off, hopping into his car and heading north.
    Debbie Dills spotted a vehicle matching the description given by authorities, noticing the South Carolina license plate.
    "I don't know what drew my attention to the car," Dills told CNN. "In my mind I'm thinking, 'That can't be.' ... I never dreamed that it would be the car."
    She followed him more than 30 miles, keeping authorities updated along the way.
    Police in Shelby, North Carolina -- about 245 miles (395 kilometers) from Charleston -- then pulled him over and took him into custody. He then waived extradition and returned to South Carolina late Thursday.


    Reactions to Charleston church shooting 20 photos

    EXPAND GALLERY

    Federal authorities have opened a hate crime investigation into the shooting at the oldest AME church in the South, according to the U.S. Department of Justice.
    Charleston's mayor said that society should continue to talk about issues pertaining to race and try to educate people more, like through an African-American history museum planned for a Charleston site where slaves used to land to be sold in the United States. But, he added, it may not be realistic to think you'll be able to change the minds of all racists.
    "There's a lot of things we can do, in our country, to enhance the dialogue about race," Riley said. "But to get (hateful thoughts) out of the minds of very evil people ... is very difficult."
    Sadness, shock, rage and resilience

    http://www.washtimesherald.com/ice-n...4c400ab3a.html
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