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The police said the gunman walked into the historic Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church around 9 p. Eight people died at the scene, Chief Mullen said. Two people were taken to the Medical University of South Carolina, and one of them died on the way. City officials did not release information about the victims and did not say how many people were in the church during the shooting. Hospital officials declined to comment. Mayor Joseph P. Riley Jr. Law enforcement officers from the F. Chief Mullen said the police were tracking the gunman with police dogs. Around p. But officials said later that they were still searching for the gunman.
In the first hours after the shooting, the police blocked reporters and passers-by from approaching the church, opposite a Marriott Courtyard hotel, because of a bomb threat. Many among the cluster of media workers were political reporters in town to cover campaign events of Hillary Rodham Clinton and Jeb Bush.
Helicopters with searchlights circled overhead, and a group of pastors knelt and prayed across the street. Later, a group of church leaders gathered at the corner of Calhoun and King Streets, a few blocks from where the shooting occurred, and held an impromptu news conference.
Tory Fields, a member of the Charleston County Ministers Conference, said he believed the suspect had targeted the victims because of their race. He chose to go into that church and harm those people. The pastor, the Rev. Clementa C. Pinckney, is a state senator. It was not clear whether he was at the church at the time of the shooting. The Gothic Revival church was built in and is considered a historically ificant building, according to the National Park Service. The plot was foiled by the authorities and 35 people were executed, including Mr.
The church houses the oldest black congregation south of Baltimore, the Park Service said. Nikki R. Haley said in a statement that she and her family were praying for the victims. Late Wednesday, the campaign staff of Mr. Bush, the former governor of Florida who is seeking the Republican nomination for president, said he was canceling appearances planned for Thursday in Charleston because of the shooting.
Clinton was in Charleston on Wednesday, but an aide said she had left the city before the shooting.Charleston boy black girl hookup
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