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.
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.