9 Dead in shooting in historic church in U.S


 A white man opened fire during a prayer meeting inside a historic black church in downtown Charleston on Wednesday night, killing nine people in an assault that authorities described as a hate crime. The shooter was still at large.
The shooting took place at the Emanuel AME Church, Police Chief Greg Mullen said. He said there were survivors, but would not say how many, or how many were inside at the time of the shooting. He also would not confirm whether the pastor, state Sen. Clementa Pinckney, was one of the victims.
Mullen said eight victims were found dead inside the church and the ninth died at a hospital.
Mullen described the suspect as a white male in his early 20s, with sandy blonde hair. He said he believed it was a hate crime, but would not elaborate. He called the shooting "senseless."
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.
"The only reason that someone could walk into a church and shoot people praying is out of hate," said Charleston Mayor Joseph P. Riley. "It is the most dastardly act that one could possibly imagine, and we will bring that person to justice. ... This is one hateful person." Riley said the shooting was an "unspeakable tragedy. Inexplicable."
Community organizer Christopher Cason said 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."
Even before Scott's shooting in April, Cason said he had been part of a group meeting with police and local leaders to try to shore up relations


AP
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