Charleston: A white gunman open fired in historic African-American church in Charleston, South Carolina, killing nine people police said on Thursday.
The suspect was described as a 21-year-old white man wearing a sweatshirt, jeans and boots, Charleston police said in a message on Twitter. He is yet to be apprehended by police.
One other person was wounded and taken to a hospital, Chief Gregory Mullen told reporters about four hours after the shooting on Wednesday evening. Describing the shooting as a hate crime, Mullen said: “It is unfathomable that somebody in today’s society would walk into a church when people are having a prayer meeting and take their lives.”
He also said that an all-clear had been sounded after an earlier bomb threat in the area of the church. A bomb threat was later reported near the scene of the church shooting, Charleston County Sheriff’s Office spokesman Eric Watson said. People who were gathered in the area were told by police to move back.