A white gunman killed nine people at a historic black church in Charleston, South Carolina, at 9 p.m. last night, including the reverend, Clementa Pinckney, who was also a state senator. Police have identified the suspect as 21-year-old Dylann Storm Roof and are calling the attack a hate crime, reports the New York Times.
Sylvia Johnson, a cousin of Mr. Pinckney, told NBC News that she had spoken with a survivor of the shooting who told her the gunman reloaded five times. The survivor, she said, told her that the gunman had entered the church and asked for the pastor. Then he sat next to Mr. Pinckney during the Bible study before opening fire.
“I have to do it,” the gunman was quoted as saying. “You rape our women and you’re taking over our country. And you have to go.”
Roof is still at large and considered armed and dangerous.
UPDATE: Roof has been captured by police and taken into custody.