[Vision2020] Shooting at black church kills nine

Moscow Cares moscowcares at moscow.com
Thu Jun 18 05:24:15 PDT 2015

Courtesy of today's (June 18, 2015) Spokesman-Review.

Shooting at black church kills nine 
White man sought in Charleston massacre

CHARLESTON, S.C. – 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 did not say how many, or how many were inside at the time of the shooting. Wednesday is a traditional night for services and activities in churches across South Carolina.

Mullen would not confirm whether the pastor, state Sen. Clementa Pinckney, was one of the victims. 

The suspect was described as a 21-year-old clean-shaven white male with sandy blond hair and a slender build, wearing a gray sweatshirt/hoodie and jeans with Timberland boots.

Mullen said he believed it was a hate crime but would not elaborate. 

“The only reason that someone could walk into a church and shoot people praying is out of hate,” said Charleston Mayor Joseph 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 officials with the FBI, the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division and other municipalities are joining local law enforcement agents in the search for the suspect.

Several impromptu prayer circles formed on the streets in the area after midnight, as law enforcement helicopters flew overheard in search of the suspect.

Police moved members of the news media away from the site due to what they called an “imminent” threat. They did not release any details. 

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 for today.

The Emanuel 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. 

The church has one of the oldest and largest black congregations south of Baltimore, according to its website. 

The shooting happened the day before the eighth anniversary of a fire at a furniture store that killed nine Charleston firefighters.


Seeya 'round town, Moscow, because . . .

"Moscow Cares"
Tom Hansen
Moscow, Idaho
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