A 21-year-old boy, Dylann Roof has been arrested for killing nine persons after worshiping in an African-American Church, known as The Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in South Carolina on Wednesday, June 17, 2015.
Among the slain victims was a state senator who doubled as the church’s minister; three other pastors; a regional library manager; a high school coach and speech therapist; a government administrator; a college enrollment counselor; and a recent college graduate; six women and three men.
After an intense manhunt, police in Shelby, arrested Roof in the early hours of Thursday, June 18, 2015 after a traffic stop.
It was gathered that authorities received a tip off from a motorist who reported seeing a person in a nearby car that looked like a man in surveillance video from the shooting scene that was posted online.
Among those he allegedly gunned down was its leader, the Reverend Clementa Pinckney, a long-serving state senator and civil rights leader.
The other victims, whose ages ranged between 26 and 87, included three other religious leaders at the church.
One was a high school track coach, another was an up-and-coming minister and the third was a 74-year-old pastor at Emmanuel.
According to a person familiar with the investigation, Roof told his horrified victims that African-Americans were raping their women and it was learnt that he spared one person to share his motivations.
President Barack Obama on Thursday, June 18, 2015 said, “This is not the first time that black churches have been attacked. And we know that hatred across races and faiths pose a particular threat to our democracy and our ideals.”
Local authorities branded the church shooting a hate crime, and the Federal Bureau of Investigation launched its own parallel investigation, which could ultimately lead to federal prosecution, reported The Wall Street Journal.
Attorney General, Loretta Lynch said it is too early to determine whether state or federal authorities would prosecute the suspect on the charges of a hate crime as the Justice Department are currently investigating the case.