Victims in Charleston church shooting identified by coroner

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By: The Associated Press

3:18 p.m.

A librarian and recent college graduate are among the nine people killed by a white gunman in a black church in downtown Charleston.

State Sen. Clementa Pinckney, the pastor of Emanuel African Methodist Church, had already been identified as one of those killed.

Charleston County Coroner Rae Wooten said Thursday the others have been identified as Cynthia Hurd, 54; Tywanza Sanders, 26; Sharonda Singleton; Myra Thompson, 59; Ethel Lance, 70; Susie Jackson, 87; the Rev. Daniel Simmons Sr.; and DePayne Doctor.

Sanders had recently graduated from Allen University. Hurd worked for Charleston County’s library system for 31 years. Doctor was an enrollment counselor at Southern Wesleyan University’s Charleston Campus, according to a friend.

1:48 p.m.

An agency that tracks extremists and white supremacist organizations says the suspect in the fatal shooting of nine people at a historic black church in Charleston, South Carolina, wasn’t known to officials there.

Richard Cohen, president of Southern Poverty Law Center in Montgomery, Alabama, says suspect 21-year-old Dylann Storm Roof — who is white — wasn’t known to the organization.

Cohen says it’s not clear whether Roof is connected to any of the 16 white supremacist organizations the law center has identified as operating in South Carolina.

But Cohen says Roof appears to be a “disaffected white supremacist” based on his Facebook page, which Cohen viewed.

Cohen notes that Roof was pictured wearing a jacket with emblems of the old apartheid regime in South Africa and the former African nation of Rhodesia, which was the name of Zimbabwe under white rule.

12:30 p.m.

President Barack Obama has expressed anger, sadness and heartache at the church shooting that left nine dead in Charleston, South Carolina.

He says Wednesday night’s shooting inside a historic black church shows the need for a national reckoning on gun violence in America.

The president said that too often, he’s had to come to microphone to mourn the deaths of innocents killed by those who had no trouble getting their hands on a gun.

“At some point, we as a country will have to reckon with the fact that this type of mass violence does not happen in other advanced countries,” Obama said.

Obama says he and Vice President Joe Biden telephoned Charleston Mayor Joseph P. Riley Jr. to express condolences.

The president says he and first lady Michelle Obama knew several parishioners there, including the church’s pastor, state Sen. Clementa Pinckney, among those killed.

Obama spoke from the White House briefing room before departing on a weekend fundraising trip to California.

12:27 p.m.

Officials say they don’t know the motive for the man suspected of killing nine people inside a historic black church in Charleston, but the mayor calls it “pure, pure concentrated evil.”

Mayor Joseph P. Riley Jr. made the remarks Thursday about the Wednesday night shooting that officials have called a hate crime.

Police chief Greg Mullen says suspect 21-year-old Dylann Storm Roof was arrested Thursday in his car on the road in Shelby, N.C. Mullen says Roof had a weapon at the time, but officials wouldn’t give other details.

Mullen also says it’s unknown whether the shooter intentionally left behind any survivors at the church. Mullen has said Roof was at the church for nearly an hour for a prayer meeting before the shooting.

11:48 a.m.

The police chief in Charleston says the white man suspected of killing nine people inside a historic black church has been apprehended in North Carolina.

Chief Greg Mullen says 21-year-old Dylann Storm Roof was arrested Thursday in a car on the road in Shelby, North Carolina. He says Roof was cooperative with the officer who stopped him. Local police in Shelby made the arrest. Mullen says Roof was in the car when arrested.

Mullen says a citizen tip led police to Roof’s car.

Mullen also says officials believe Roof acted alone.

Mullen said previously that Roof stayed at a prayer meeting for nearly an hour on Wednesday night before he opened fire, killing three males and six females at the church in Charleston, South Carolina.

Among the dead was state Sen. Clementa Pinckney. Other victims’ names haven’t been released.

11:32 a.m.

U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch says a suspect is in custody in the fatal shooting inside a historic black church in downtown Charleston, South Carolina.

“I can confirm that there is a suspect in custody,” she said.

She gave no other details.

Nine people including the pastor were killed in the Wednesday night shooting. An intense manhunt followed.

Police earlier identified the suspect as 21-year-old Dylann Roof of Lexington, South Carolina. They released surveillance video photographs of the gunman and a dark colored sedan he may have used to get away.

Charleston police Chief Greg Mullen says Roof stayed at a prayer meeting for nearly an hour before he opened fire. Among the dead was state Sen. Clementa Pinckney.

Authorities have called the shooting a hate crime.

11:22 a.m.

Court records show that the suspect in a fatal shooting at a historic black church in South Carolina has one felony drug case pending against him, a past misdemeanor trespassing charge and no other criminal record in the state.

The state and county court records show that 21-year-old Dylann Storm Roof had no adult criminal history in South Carolina until March, when he was arrested in Lexington County on felony drug possession charges. That case is pending. Count records list no attorney to try to reach for comment.

In April, state police say that Roof, of Lexington, was arrested for misdemeanor trespassing in Lexington County. No further details on that charge were immediately available.

Nine people were killed when a gunman opened fire at the downtown Emanuel AME Church on Wednesday night. Police say the young white man joined a prayer meeting at the church and then opened fire. Authorities believe it was a hate crime.

10:38 a.m.

Police have identified the suspect in a fatal shooting that killed nine people at a historic black church in downtown Charleston as 21-year-old Dylann Roof of Lexington, South Carolina.

An intense manhunt is underway for Roof. Police have released surveillance video photographs of the gunman and a dark colored sedan he may have used to get away.

Police spokeswoman Barbara Vaughn identified Roof as the suspect Thursday. She says the vehicle he may be driving is a black Hyundai.

Nine people were killed when a gunman opened fire at the downtown Emanuel AME Church on Wednesday night. Police say the young white man joined a prayer meeting at the church and then opened fire.

Authorities have called it a hate crime. Federal officials have opened an investigation.

8:45 a.m.

A Justice Department spokesman says federal officials are opening a hate crime investigation into the fatal shooting of nine people at a historic black church in South Carolina.

The spokesman said Thursday that the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division, the FBI, and the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of South Carolina are opening the investigation into the Wednesday night shooting.

The spokesman spoke on condition of anonymity. The official was not authorized to be quoted by name because the federal investigation has not been officially announced.

— Eric Tucker, Associated Press writer in Washington

8 a.m.

The city of Charleston has opened an assistance center for families of the victims of Wednesday night’s fatal shooting at a historic black church.

City spokeswoman Barbara Vaughn says the center will be based at a hotel and will be staffed by local, state and federal victim services personnel, as well as a group of Charleston-area chaplains.

Nine people were killed when a gunman opened fire at the downtown Emanuel AME Church. Police have said there are six female and three male victims. Officials say names won’t be released until families are notified. But House Minority Leader Todd Rutherford has said state Sen. Clementa Pinckney was among those killed.

The city’s statement on the assistance center asks for privacy for families of the victims.

7:15 a.m.

Charleston Police Chief Greg Mullen says the suspect in a fatal shooting was at a historic black church attending a prayer meeting and stayed for almost an hour.

Mullen says: “He was in the church about an hour before the actual deaths.”

Mullen gave the details at a Thursday morning news conference. He also identified the victims of the Wednesday night church shooting as six females and three males. He says names won’t be released until families are notified.

The suspect is described as a white man thought to be in his early 20s. Mullen says he’s a “very dangerous individual.” Mullen says police don’t know if anyone was targeted besides the church itself.

Earlier, Mullen said he had no reason to think the suspect has left the Charleston area, but is distributing information about him and the vehicle around the country.

7:05 a.m.

Charleston Police Chief Greg Mullen says the victims of a shooting at a historic black church were six females and three males.

At a news conference Thursday, Mullen did not give other details about the victims. He says names will not be released until families are notified.

The Wednesday night shooting is being called a hate crime. The suspect is described as a white man thought to be in his early 20s. Mullen says the suspect is a “very dangerous individual.” Mullen urged people to call police about the suspect and not pursue him or his vehicle on their own.

Earlier, Mullen said he had no reason to think the suspect has left the Charleston area, but is distributing information about the suspect and the vehicle around the country.