Shooter sat among victims for an hour, opened fire

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CHARLESTON, S.C. (KRON) — A white shooter entered a historically black church in South Carolina Wednesday night, sat among those attending a bible study for an hour, then opened fire on the congregation, killing 9.

Six of the victims were women, three were men, according to police.  A 5-year-old child survived the massacre by playing dead, according KRON affiliate WCBD.

Among the dead was State Senator and church pastor, Rev. Clementa Pinkley.

SLIDESHOW: Charleston church mass shooting

The gunman, identified as Dylann Storm Roof, 21, walked in to Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church around 8 p.m. and sat among the congregation.  According to Police Chief Greg Mullen, he attended the prayer service with his victims before opening fire around 9 p.m.

“This is an unfathomable and unspeakable act, committed by a hateful and deranged mind” said Mayor Joseph P. Riley Jr.

According to the United States Justice Department, the shooting is being investigated as a hate crime.

Roof is still at large and is considered extremely dangerous.

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