9 Killed in Shooting at Historic Black Church in South Carolina

|

Nine people were killed and an unknown number of people were injured in a shooting at a church in Charleston, South Carolina, on Wednesday night, according to multiple news reports.

The shooting took place at the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church, which according to CNN is "the oldest AME church in the South."

The shooter, who was reportedly still at large as of about 2 a.m. Thursday morning, was described as a white male in his early 20s.

The New York Times reports that the gunman fled after opening fire: 

The police described the gunman as a clean-shaven white man about 21 years old who was wearing a gray sweatshirt, bluejeans and Timberland boots.

Around 10:45 p.m., police officers at the scene drew their weapons and later escorted a man in handcuffs, who appeared to match that description. But officials said later that they were still searching for the gunman.

Charleston Police Chief Greg Mullen said the shooting is being investigated as a hate crime. 

Media and others at the scene were at one point ordered to back away due to an apparent bomb threat. 

NEXT: Why Do So Many Bad Cops Get Off Easy?

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of Reason.com or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  1. The Gun strikes again. If only they’d had the foresight to ban guns sooner.

    1. A ban that would be enforced by those who regularly gun down unarmed black men?

    2. No, what’s important to remember is that a white person did this. Not that THIS person did this, but that a white person did it

      It’s a hate crime, already, after all. You can just tell.

      P.S.

      REASON,

      That first link is broken.

        1. Vielen Dank.

      1. How often are 9 people shot to death and there is no semblance of ‘hate’ involved?

      2. It’s not that THIS person did this, it is that ALL white people did this crime and are guilty of it.

  2. My heart goes out to the victims.

    I have sympathy tonight, but I’ll probably have anger tomorrow, both at the perpetrator and the media.

    1. + many. You’ll also be furious at the politicians who will stand on top of the pile of bleeding bodies for their own selfish aims.

      1. I’m furious that I can’t spare the time to be furious at the arshloch who did it, because I have to be furious at the media and worried about the pols who see this as a glorious hayfield on a sunny day.

  3. while we know there’s always a risk of somebody hurting others – it’s still so sad and puzzling whenever it does happen.

  4. It’s starting…

    […]According to a report released last October, researchers at the Harvard School of Public Health found that the rate of mass shootings in America had essentially tripled in the previous three years.

    Between 1982 and late 2011, mass shootings occurred about every 200 days. But after September 2011, the rate of mass shootings increased to about once every 64 days, according to the Harvard researchers.
    […]

    Mass Shootings In America Are Rising

    1. “Between 1982 and late 2011, mass shootings occurred about every 200 days. But after September 2011, the rate of mass shootings increased to about once every 64 days, according to the Harvard researchers.

      And they’re not sure why.”

      Fucking statistics, maybe?

      Harvard: Where they are too busy cheating to think!

    2. Mass shootings in American are rising! But it almost never happens.

      Plus, I believe the definition of mass shooting has expanded over the years.

      1. ^^ Yup.

        It’s been posted here before, but “school shootings” now include not only incidents on the property but also incidents in a certain radius of the school. Never mind that a gang banger got mowed down over a drug related incident at 3 AM – it’s still counted as a school shooting.

        1. Well, if we just CHANGE the definition of “school shooting” to more accurately represent the violence and criminality that guns precipitate (rather than actual incidents of shootings in schools) then people will finally realize how EVIL guns are!

    3. Yeah, funny thing about that.. Two sides to every story..

    1. “in which nine people, including senior pastor and state senator Clementa Pinckney, were killed”

      Hmm

      Political killing?

      1. Maybe it is part of the war on christianity?

        1. Wouldn’t it be a pisser if the shooter turned out to be a Muslim convert. The media is having orgasms right now thinking they finally have that case of right wing evil white male terrorism they have so long hoped and prayed for. If the guy turns out to be a Muslim convert the butthurt and disappointment will be epic.

          1. As you know, he doesn’t necessarily have to be a convert. This is what people from Nuristan, one of the most insurgent ridden provinces in the country, look like.

            And to think, I have never boarded a plane without having been selected for the “random” screening.

            Fuckers.

            1. Not just there. I saw Syrians in Iraq who were as fair skinned as I am and had blue eyes. Not every Muslim or even most Muslims are Arabs.

              1. Indeed. And just as an aside, I’ve found that on average, Syria and Lebanon are responsible for some of the most attractive people on the planet face-wise.

                1. Did you see the pictures from the demonstrations in Lebanon a few years ago when they kicked out their Syrian backed government? Oh my God there was there a ton of beautiful women in those crowds.

                  1. Oh my God there was there a ton of beautiful women in those crowds.

                    I didn’t think there were so many fatties in that war torn land.

                2. Mehhh. Russia and the slavic countries in general have the hottest women. But if you would posit that Syria has the hottest men, I will neither confirm nor deny your assertion.

                  1. While there are some very good looking women in the old eastern block, outside of Czech Republic and Estonia, they are very hit and miss. There are a lot of homely matronly ones too.

                    And if you think Lebanese women are not as a group near the top of any list of most ethnic groups with the highest percentage of beautiful women, you have never seen many Lebanese women.

                3. I believe Salma Hayek is part Lebanese…(googling) yup !

                  As the kid on 2 1/2 men once said about Salma…her name is as pretty as her boobs.

                4. And just as an aside, I’ve found that on average, Syria and Lebanon are responsible for some of the most attractive people on the planet face-wise.

                  I must start visiting Melkite and Maronite churches…

  5. Charleston Police Chief Greg Mullen said the shooting is being investigated as a hate crime.

    As opposed to all those shootings done out of love.

    1. I love that wording – makes it sounds like it wouldn’t be investigated at all otherwise

  6. Hate crime…. based on what?

    1. Racism.

    2. White guy killed black people. Isn’t that automatically a hate crime?

      1. Well, unless he’s a muslim. Then it wouldn’t be a hate crime.

        (Or maybe if he turns out to a Mexican. Because people cease being white if they are muslim or Mexican, somehow)

        1. Not if they shoot black people, then they are white. Like “White Hispanic” George Zimmerman.

          1. well, Zimmerman did ‘identify’ as white so that makes him white.

        2. He could have been like that Elliot Rodger pissant and decided to shoot up a church because the pretty Black cheerleader didn’t ask him to prom.

  7. Does Rachel Dolezal have an alibi?

    1. No, no – the shooter was WHI…ohhhhhhhhhhhhh,,,,,

  8. Though authorities did not provide the names of the victims, the church’s pastor, Clementa Pinckney, who is also a South Carolina state senator, was missing after the shooting…

    If he is really among the victims, this will be a double whammy. Bad laws in South Carolina may be in the offing.

    1. Is he missing, or dead?

      1. yes

  9. *Please don’t be an AR, please don’t be an AR…*

  10. As a churchgoer myself, the very thought of someone could shoot people at a church is horrifying. That’s ISIS level fanaticism.

    My heart goes out to the families of the victims, but I do want to make two points.

    (1) No one in America blinks when terrorist hit synagogues and HACK children to death. No one really cared when ISIS kidnapped 20 plus Christians in Egypt and decapitated them. It honestly bothers me a bit that the usual suspects who will politicize this tragedy are the same ones who routinely deride Christianity and blast Israel as a warmongering state.

    (2) There was a biker gang shooting that resulted in 9 fatalities. OK, it wasn’t a hate crime, but innocent bystanders were killed (allegedly shot by cops). But that was a local crime story. It was treated as such.

    It boggles the mind how everything has to be about race in this country. If all the black kids who were shot my cops were white, I’m 100% the media would treat it was a local crime story. There would be no riots anywhere.

    1. It is because the media is evil and wants the races to hate each other. If it by some chance turns out that the initial descriptions of the shooter are wrong and it was some crazy disgruntled black church member who did this, the national media will immediately drop this story like third period French. Black lives only matter if their deaths can be used to sow racial division and further the Progressive political cause. You can never have too much disdain for the media. They are well and truly the scum of the earth.

  11. Investigated as a hate crime, because you know, killing 9 people isn’t serious by itself.

    And I guess the media isn’t going to blame this on Obama for his anti-Christian rhetoric. (Not that they should, mind you, but it’s a lot less tenuous a connection than Sarah Palin and crosshairs on a map…)

    1. “Investigated as a hate crime, because you know, killing 9 people isn’t serious by itself.”

      The laws against murder just aren’t strong enough to dissuade people from their natural desire to kill, and commit other micro-aggressions. Generally, white people (especially) live in a permanent state of aggrievement and rage because of their privilege. Possessing a gun makes that desire irresistible, apparently… because of the gun’s compelling influence over its possessor. Unfortunately, they can only execute this shooter up to 9 times according to the laws on the books pertaining to “love crimes”, or “indifference crimes”. Being a “hate crime”, they can execute him up to 18 times, because of the 2x multiplier and double secret probation implied by the name. It was probably a gun-free zone as well, sooo.. maybe 27x if convicted on all counts..

      1. That is right. Everyone knows a state like South Carolina will give someone who murdered nine people a slap on the wrist. Without hate crime laws, this guy if he is arrested and convicted could be right back on the streets in a few years.

  12. Anyway, stuff like this is why I don’t take all those crazy plots that the FBI always seems to bust too seriously. If people were serious about killing people, they’d just do it, they wouldn’t spend months talking their asses off to a FBI informant about what they are going to do.

    1. That is a great point Jeremy. If you don’t care about being caught or dying, it is very easy to kill a lot of people. You don’t need to plot.

      1. Yep, if a terrorist is serious, it’s not that difficult. Get a gun, go to the mall. Or, if you want to build off the idea of airplane terrorism, go to a busy TSA checkpoint.

        DISCLAIMER: The above is a hypothesis of how an evil terrorist could carry out an attack. I have neither the desire nor capacity to do anything like that, or commit any violence at all. I love the federal government and the state of New York, and in fact I’m here only to troll and spread disinformation among libertarians. We’re all in this together! USA!

  13. I am confuse. Didn’t see the words: automatic, assault or rifle used. WTF?

    1. It’s early, jester.

    2. Right, I don’t know how to feel until I know what type of gun was used, what color it was, or if it has a “shoulder thing that goes up” or not.

  14. It’s the press’s job to speculate after all because the early impression is what sticks in people’s minds. It’s the very essence of effective journalism.

    1. It’s how narratives are woven..

      1. It doesn’t matter if the facts are right. The important thing is getting the narrative right. The narrative is that this is an example of how racist and horrible this country and white men in particular are and how white men are the real terrorist threat. If the facts don’t support that, then just find new facts.

        1. Media matters, Think progress, and Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence, et all.. are compiling a primer package to be FedEx’ed out to all the “reliable” news agencies, outlining the critical bullet points of the emerging narrative as we speak. They should have it by noon..

          1. They don’t even have to compile. They just pull the stock template out and fill in the applicable names and dates. And of course the brave journalists will cut and paste these talking points in their “objective news stories”.

  15. Heard about this on the radio on the way to work. Ugh.

    My sympathy to the families, I hope they catch the bastard who did this, and fuck the politicians (in advance) who use this to advance ANY agenda, TEAM RED, TEAM BLUE, left, right, pink, yellow – anything. Fuck ’em. Cause it’s coming. And may God have mercy on all their souls, the dead and the living. Except the shooter – he needs an express ticket to whatever Dante’s lowest wood chipper was….

    That is all.

    1. It would be nice if our politicians and creatures in the media were not so in love with exploiting the victims of tragedy. I guess expecting them to have even a small amount of shame and morality is just too much.

      1. Suppose Rand Paul doesn’t jump in to comment. The reaction will be that “he just doesn’t care about black lives” and the implication that he just might be a racist hater himself. If he does jump in, then “he’s only trying to look sympathetic in order to boost his political career.”
        Better to say something than to look like you don’t care.

  16. It’s a good thing the media and politicians will handle this whole sordid affair calmy, rationally, and with genuine concern for everyone but themselves.

    1. Haaaaahahahahahahah.. *gasp* hahahahahahahahahah.. Oh, man.. that’s rich..

  17. Sucks.

  18. the shooting is being investigated as a hate crime.

    Would someone *kindly* explain how a hate crime investigation differs from a “regular” crime investigation, especially when the perp is UNKNOWN?

    Do the cops ask relatives of the victims “Did your loved one have any enemies … who were *racially-motivated*?”?

    1. I think the difference is not necessarily in how it’s investigated, but in who does the investigating.

        1. I could be wrong, but I believe when something is declared to be a hate crime, the feds take over bungling the investigation.

          1. And who exactly gets to “declare” it a hate crime?

            1. A division of authoritative experts in the government called CNNMSNBCFOXCBSABCPOLITICOHUFFPOWAPONYTAPREUTERS… They help guide and shape local law enforcement policy..

            2. Fuck if I know.

              1. “Authorities have determined that it is definitely *not* a hate crime.”

    2. “Would someone *kindly* explain how a hate crime investigation differs from a “regular” crime investigation, especially when the perp is UNKNOWN?”

      Federal intervention?

    3. silly Rich, it is white on black crime so it always is a “hate” crime.

    4. If a white person kills a black person, it’s a hate crime. If it’s a black person killing a white person, while screaming they hate whites, it’s not a hate crime.

  19. The police described the gunman as a clean-shaven white man about 21 years old

    One of our sacred Millennials perpetrated this horror? I thought the Millennials were our new greatest generation. Why, they worship Obama and support gay marriage and everything!

    1. read the description again and the problem jumps off the screen. Clean-shaven white man. Now what sort of Millenial beta male runs around without so much as a five o’clock shadow?

      1. “read the description again and the problem jumps off the screen. Clean-shaven white man…”

        Well, at least we know he wasn’t muslim.. that’s what’s most important..

        1. Not every Muslim, even the crazy genocidal kind, has a beard. Who knows who this guy is or what reason he blew a gasket and did this. I would not rule out him being anything including a Muslim until we know.

          I think it is highly unlikely that whoever this nut is he will fit the Prog narrative of him being some evil white supremacist white guy. The white supremacists are not genocidal. They don’t want the races to intermarry or live together. They don’t as a general rule want to murder the black race. If a white supremacist had blown a gasket like this, he would have shot an interracial couple or some federal judge who sent another supremacist to jail or something. I can’t see them going after a black church.

          The most likely possibility is that the guy is somehow connected to the church. Maybe he has an ex wife who divorced him and took his kids who goes there. Maybe he worked there and they fired him or something. If I had to bet on this, I would bet that he is some psychotic with some connection to and grudge against that church. If it is not that, I would say him being a Muslim convert is the second most likely possibility. Him being a white supremacist is the least likely possibility.

        2. It’s quite common for suicide bombers to shave their beards before an attack in Dar al-Harb.

          Not saying that’s what happened here…but jus’ sayin’

          1. I had forgotten my /sarc tags

  20. Has MSNBC blamed the TEA Party yet?

    1. Soon..

  21. “The police described the gunman as a clean-shaven white man about 21 years old who was wearing a gray sweatshirt, bluejeans and Timberland boots.

    Around 10:45 p.m., police officers at the scene drew their weapons and later escorted a man in handcuffs, who appeared to match that description. But officials said later that they were still searching for the gunman.”

    Huh, makes me wonder if it’s going to turn out to be a shooter that doesn’t match that description. I could totally see a scenario where the police get called in for a shooting and blame the one person there who doesn’t look like they belong, only to be refuted by witnesses later. Unlikely, but what’s the fun of reading early no-information reports on politically divisive crimes if I don’t get to make wildly speculative theories that make the other side look bad.

    1. I bet he was wearing “Timberland boots” ironically..

  22. I had to turn the radio off on the way in this morning. Between the gun grabbers and the holy rollers, no one gave a shit that nine individuals were killed. Nope, it’s all about riding particular hobby horses.

    1. no one gave a shit that nine individuals were killed.

      How *dare* you?!

      The human-interest-story reporters are hard at work and will give you all the details on the evening news.

      “Jeremy was an avid checkers player, volunteered at the local soup kitchen almost every Christmas, and was just about to turn his life around.”

    2. 99 percent of people don’t care about people they don’t personally know. It’s human nature, and it is a damn good thing it is. We wouldn’t be able to function if we actually cared about the hundreds of thousands of people that die each day. The healthy exception to this rule is if they are in our tribe, so for me that would be one of my siblings friends or Rand Paul dropping dead.

      So yeah, most of the people commenting on this story are going to do so from the perspective of where it intersects their interests and pet issues. That’s natural, and the only reason it’s ever an issue is because so many people try to fake caring about people they don’t as a social signal for being a good person.

      1. That’s natural, and the only reason it’s ever an issue is because so many people try to fake caring about people they don’t as a social signal for being a good person.

        Gee, I didn’t realize that having some basic compassion over the loss of nine people who, as best I can tell thus far, never harmed anyone was social signaling. It’s possible, even human, to see an event as horrible even if you have no personal connection to any of those involved.

        1. You’re a good person, wareagle.

          1. Except for the Auburn thing. Fucking terrorists, every one.

            1. Which still makes him better than a ugagger.

        2. Seeing an event as horrible and actually caring are two radically different things. One is a moral and degree judgment, one is about emotion and personal impact. Pretending to care about something you don’t is social signaling. Thinking something is horrible even if you don’t care isn’t.

          Probably need a third word to represent the interests align without emotional care, but I can’t think of what it would be called.

          1. Yeah. I see this as a horrible act, but don’t feel a damn thing. Does that make me a terrible person?

            1. Nope makes you one hundred percent normal, and it drives me up a wall when people act like it isn’t.

      2. Sure it is natural. Maybe I am just old fashioned and have spent too much time reading evil dead white men, but I have always been under the impression that the entire point of having a mind and a sense of morality is so that we can rise above our natural instincts. It may be our instinct not to care and only see through the lens of self interest, but human beings are supposed to be better than that.

  23. Both the mayor of Charleston and the chief of police are explicitly blaming America’s lack of gun control for this crime.

    So yeah, get ready for a gun control push like we saw after Sandy Hook.

    1. That ended with more people supporting gun control. If a bunch of dead first graders doesn’t get people to buy into that bullshit, I can’t believe this will. Maybe I am optimistic but I don’t see how this is going to get people to turn on guns who haven’t already done so.

      The truth of course is that if someone had been armed, the shooter would be dead and some if not all of the victims of this would be alive. The media of course won’t say that but people know that is the truth and that is what matters.

      1. I mean more people opposing gun control.

      2. This push-and-resist game never seems to get old.

        1. The ebb and flow of the tide…

      3. I think most Americans simply find it distasteful to grandstand on still-warm corpses.

        1. Where else will opportunists plant their flag?..

  24. This wouldnt happen at my church. The concealed carry rate is too high. There is a womens shooting group at my church.

    1. If you really want to troll Progs on this, point that fact out Rob and then blame this on the Progressives’ systematic efforts to disarm black people.

      1. Our pastor mentioned his glock in his sermon last week.

        While the church is majority white, we have a decent black, hispanic, ans asian population. The tattoed-American Population might break 50%. Its high, gor sure.

        1. Well there was a church shooting (i think in CO?) a few years ago, but a woman with a concealed permit shot the shooter before too much damage could be done. This one didnt make much news because there was no racial story and her being armed limited the tragedy.

            1. and also this one – two different stories… http://www.buckeyefirearms.org…..an-shotgun

      2. Exactly!

  25. I was in Charleston just a few weeks ago – I would hardly call it a hotbed of racism, at least the parts I was in.

    Ugh – I guess we’ll have to wait and see what happens with the investigation.

    1. Like I said above, it is highly unlikely that this guy did this because he wanted to kill a bunch of black people. That makes absolutely no sense. I bet he has some kind of connection to and grudge against that church. Absent that, I bet he is a Muslim convert fighting the jihad.

      1. Oh he might just be outright nuts and not have a rational motive, like most of these mass past shooters.

        1. Hard to think of anyone more outright nuts than Lanza or the guy out in Aurora. Both of them had some reason to do what they did where they did it. It was an insane reason but it was a reason. If he is just a psychotic, it is certain he had some kind of connection to that church that caused him to shoot that place up and not somewhere else.

      2. NPR is reporting that he got up and announced he wanted to kill blacks and opened fire.

    2. “Ugh – I guess we’ll have to wait and see what happens with the investigation.”

      Politicians and “community leaders” have wet their index fingers and held them in the air.. we should know soon..

  26. Uh guys, they just released a picture of the suspected shooter. He’s not white.

      1. Yeah, compare the photo of the suspect to the white cops above him. Maybe he’s just got a crazy amount of Italian genes, but I’m pretty sure the guy is a light skinned black dude.

      2. If I was to guess – Muslim. Or else a really good tanning salon.

      3. A multiracial looking guy with a Moe Howard haircut. That’s pretty freaking weird.

    1. they identified him as: Dylann Storm Roof. He is most definitely white.

  27. OT:
    And in other news.. Cooler heads prevail, and sensible policy is enacted at a university..

    1. I’m pretty sure that’s a microaggression against people with smart phone addiction. /sarc

  28. here comes the feeding frenzy..sharpton, jackson,etc….

  29. http://www.postandcourier.com/…../150619404

    They have a suspect, picture at the link (white and angry).

    1. He is claimed to be Dylann Roof.

  30. Better picture of the suspect: he looks white to me:

    http://fox59.com/2015/06/18/wh…..g-suspect/

    If it is the same guy. Skin tone doesn’t match the earlier picture.

  31. The shooter, who was reportedly still at large as of about 2 a.m. Thursday morning, was described as a white male in his early 20s.

    That scurrying sound is the mainstream media furiously searching for some way to link the shooter to the tea party and Rand Paul.

  32. Some sites have his middle name as “Storm” . His parents must be special. Storm Roof?

  33. http://gawker.com/cousin-of-ch…..1712203419
    Cousin of Charleston Pastor: Shooter Said “You Rape Our Women”

    There are multiple sites with that report.

    Sounds like an “I can’t get laid” Beta.

    1. Once you go black… you don’t go back to white beta male pussy.

  34. http://www.thedailybeast.com/c…..pened.html

    Another “You rape…” report.

  35. Comments to MSimon’s link above (at 10:28) include someone claiming there were black gangs attacking whites in Charleston back in April.

  36. Start making cash right now… Get more time with your family by doing jobs that only require for you to have a computer and an internet access and you can have that at your home. Start bringing up to $8596 a month. I’ve started this job and I’ve never been happier and now I am sharing it with you, so you can try it too. You can check it out here…
    http://www.worktoday7.com

Please to post comments

Comments are closed.