9 dead after shooter opens fire at historically black South Carolina church

8:22 a.m. Police in South Carolina confirmed suspect Dylann Storm Roof arrested, now in police custody.

7:15 a.m.

Charleston Police Chief Greg Mullen says the suspect in a shooting that killed nine people was at a historic black church attending a meeting and stayed for almost an hour before gunfire erupted.

Charleston Police Chief Greg Mullen gave the details at a Thursday morning news conference. He didn’t elaborate. At the news conference, he also identified the victims of the Wednesday church night shooting as six females and three males. He says names won’t be released until families are notified.

SLIDESHOW: Mass shooting at South Carolina church

The suspect is described as a white man thought to be in his early 20s. Mullen says the suspect is a “very dangerous individual.”

Earlier, Mullen said he had no reason to think the suspect has left the Charleston area, but is distributing information about him and the vehicle around the country.

7:05 a.m.

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Charleston Police Chief Greg Mullen says the victims of a shooting at a historic black church were six females and three males.

At a news conference Thursday, Mullen did not give other details about the victims. He says names will not be released until families are notified.

The Wednesday night shooting is being called a hate crime. The suspect is described as a white man thought to be in his early 20s. Mullen says the suspect is a “very dangerous individual.” Mullen urged people to call police about the suspect and not pursue him or his vehicle on their own.

Earlier, Mullen said he had no reason to think the suspect has left the Charleston area, but is distributing information about the suspect and the vehicle around the country.

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6:10 a.m.

Police say they have surveillance video of a possible suspect and vehicle in the shooting deaths of nine people at a historic black church in downtown Charleston that’s being called a hate crime.

Police Chief Greg Mullen met with reporters early Thursday to distribute the video. Mullen said he couldn’t give a specific make and model of the vehicle because they could not be certain from the video.

The suspect is described as a white man thought to be in his early 20s. Mullen said he had no reason to think the suspect has left the Charleston area, but is distributing information about the suspect and the vehicle around the country.

Mullen said police consider the shooting a hate crime. The FBI and state police are helping in the search.

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3:35 a.m. (EDT)

Charleston Police Chief Greg Mullen says the FBI will be involved in the investigation of a shooting at a historic black church that killed nine and is being called a hate crime.

Mullen said the FBI would aid the investigation while speaking at a news conference that was also attended by FBI Special Agent in Charge David A. Thomas.

House Minority Leader Todd Rutherford says that among those killed at Emanuel AME Church was the church’s pastor, state Sen. Clementa Pinckney.

Authorities are still searching for the shooter, who’s described as a white male in his early 20s.

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3 a.m. (EDT)

A South Carolina legislative leader says the church’s pastor, state Sen. Clementa Pinckney, is among those killed in a shooting at a historic black church in downtown Charleston that authorities are calling a hate crime.

House Minority Leader Todd Rutherford says Pinckney was killed along with eight others in the Wednesday night shooting at Emanuel AME Church.

Authorities are still searching for the shooter, who’s described as a white male in his early 20s.

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1 a.m. (EDT)

Charleston police say nine people have been killed in a shooting at a historic black church in what authorities intend to investigate as a hate crime.

Police Chief Greg Mullen says eight people were found dead Wednesday at Emanuel AME Church and another person died later at the hospital.

Mullen says a prayer meeting was going on at the church at the time of the shooting.

The shooter, described as a white male, was not yet in custody.

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12:45 a.m. (EDT)

Mayor Joseph P. Riley has confirmed to The Associated Press that police have told him nine are dead in a shooting at a historic black church in downtown Charleston, South Carolina.

Riley said he will release more details shortly at a news conference with Charleston police.

Police were still looking for the suspect in the Wednesday night shooting at Emanuel AME Church.

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12:30 a.m. (EDT)

South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley has responded to the shooting in downtown Charleston.

“While we do not yet know all of the details, we do know that we’ll never understand what motivates anyone to enter one of our places of worship and take the life of another,” she said in a statement early Thursday morning.

Police were still searching for a white male suspect.

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12:09 a.m. (EDT)

The Post and Courier newspaper reports that Mayor Joe Riley has confirmed there are fatalities in a shooting that occurred at the site of a church in downtown Charleston, South Carolina.

Riley called the Wednesday night shooting “an unspeakable and heartbreaking tragedy.”

An Associated Press reporter on the scene said police were moving members of the media on the site back because of an “imminent” threat.

GOP presidential hopeful Jeb Bush has canceled Thursday events in the area because of the shooting.

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