A 21-year-old South Carolina man named Dylann Roof is being hunted after police say he massacred nine people during bible study at a historic black church in downtown Charleston, South Carolina, Wednesday night.
Police earlier stated that the gunman attended the church gathering at Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church and stayed for nearly an hour before opening fire, claiming the lives of three male and six female victims.
Among those killed was the church’s pastor, 42-year-old Rev. Clementa C. Pinckney, a Democratic member of the state Senate.
Roof was previously arrested on April 26 on a trespassing charge and was awaiting moderation. He was also arrested for possession of a controlled substance on March 3 in Lexington County.
A sparse Facebook page shows an image (top) of Roof in a jacket with the flags of apartheid-era South Africa and Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe).
Rev. Pinckney’s cousin quoted a survivor who said that Roof told the church: “I have to do it. You’re raping our women and taking over the country. You have to go.”
Charleston police say Roof drove away from the church in a black Hundai, license plate LGF 300.