A historic African-American Methodist church in Charleston, SC is currently attempting to heal its wounds after a gunman opened fire on random members Wednesday night (June 16) around 8:00pm. Nine people were killed in the savage attack, which took place during a prayer meeting.

According to reports, the main suspect is a Caucasian man who spent an hour in a prayer meeting the night before his fatal attack. However, this unthinkable shooting is believed to be a hate crime. The FBI has confirmed there is currently a manhunt for suspect Dylann Roof, 21, in the shooting.

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CNN’s fact sheet:

• A woman who survived the shooting says the gunman said he was letting her live so that she could tell people what happened, Charleston NAACP President Dot Scott told CNN.

• The person who shot and killed nine people at Charleston’s Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church was there for about an hour, attending a meeting with the eventual victims, before he began shooting, Charleston police Chief Greg Mullen said Thursday morning.

• The suspect is in his early 20s and stands 5 feet, 9 inches tall. “He has on a very distinctive sweatshirt as well as the vehicle, with a very distinctive license plate,” the police chief said.

UPDATE #1: CNN reports the suspect Dylann Roof has been taken into custody, reportedly found in Shelby, North Carolina (45 miles from Charlotte).

UPDATE #2: President Obama is issuing a live statement on the shooting below.

News Links:
Charleston Shooting Leaves 9 Dead at AME Church, Gunman Remains at Large
Charleston church shooting: 9 killed in what officials call a hate crime
Charleston Church Shooting Leaves 9 Dead; Gunman Is Sought
9 dead in shooting at black church in Charleston, S.C.
Pastor, 8 others, fatally shot at church in Charleston, SC
Charleston church shooting: Multiple fatalities in South Carolina, source says