Reports: Suspect Caught in Killing of 9 at Historic Black Church in Charleston


UPDATE 11:40 AM 6/18/2015, from CBS News:

Dylann Storm Roof, the suspect in a deadly rampage at a historic black church in South Carolina, has been arrested in North Carolina, sources tell CBS News.


UPDATE 11:00 AM 6/18/2015, from The Charleston Post and Courier:

The FBI on Thursday morning confirmed that 21-year-old Dylann Roof of the Columbia area is suspected of fatally shooting nine people attending a Bible study the night before during what authorities labeled as a hate crime at a historically black church in downtown Charleston.

Denise Taiste, a Columbia-based spokeswoman, confirmed the man's identity, but she did not have further information, she said.

According to a bulletin dispatchers distributed statewide, Roof is driving a 2000 Hyundai Elantra with a license plate number of LGF330.

Roof has been arrested twice in South Carolina as an adult, according to the State Law

For more coverage from The Charleston Post and Courier, CLICK HERE.


Six women and three men were killed Wednesday night when a white man opened fire inside a historic black church in Charleston, S.C., in an assault that authorities described as a hate crime.

Police released photographs from surveillance video of a suspect and a possible getaway vehicle. The suspect is described as a cleanshaven, slender white man who is about 21 years old, with sandy blond hair and wearing a gray sweatshirt, jeans and Timberland boots.

Police Chief Greg Mullen said he believed the attack at the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church was a hate crime. The FBI is also involved in the investigation.

“This is a very dangerous individual,” Mullen said during a 6 a.m. news conference. The suspect, who police say sat in the church during a prayer meeting for about an hour before opening fire, was seen leaving in a black, four-door sedan, with a unique front license plate.

Police released images of the vehicle captured on surveillance camera.

Police have not identified all the victims, but The Charleston Post and Courier confirmed Thursday that state Sen. Clementa Pinckney was among the nine dead in the shooting. Pinckney 41, was the church’s reverend and a married father of two who was elected to the state house at age 23, making him the youngest member of the House at the time.

Three people survived the shooting, according to The Post and Courier. A female survivor told family members that the gunman said he was letting her live so she could tell everyone else what happened, the paper reports.

The Associated Press reports that soon after the shooting a group of pastors huddled together praying in a circle across the street. Community organizer Christopher Cason told the AP 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.”

An intense manhunt is currently underway, and Charleston Mayor Joseph Riley, Jr. said the city is offering a reward for information leading to the arrest of the gunman.

The Emmanuel AME church dates back to 1816. It has one of the largest and oldest black congregations south of Baltimore, according to its website. In 1822, one of the church’s founders, Denmark Vesey, organize a major slave uprising.

“During the Vesey controversy, the AME church was burned. Worship services continued after the church was rebuilt until 1834 when all black churches were outlawed. The congregation continued the tradition of the African church by worshipping underground until 1865 when it was formally reorganized,” according to the website.

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