A white man was arrested Thursday in the slayings of nine people, including the pastor, at a prayer meeting inside a historic black church in downtown Charleston. Here are the latest developments.

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.

12:48 p.m.

Michelle Obama and her elder daughter visited Milan's Duomo cathedral on Thursday, where an official traveling with her said they lit candles in memory of the victims of the shooting in South Carolina.

The first lady and her daughter Malia were seen by photographers entering the Gothic-inspired cathedral on the unannounced stop. Mrs. Obama was dressed in black with dark glasses, while Malia wore a white blouse with black trousers. Mrs. Obama made no comment and issued no statement.

12:30 p.m.

President Barack Obama, accompanied by Vice President Joe Biden, pauses while speaking in the Brady Press Briefing Room of the White House on the church shooting in Charleston, S.C. (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)

Giving voice to intense heartache, anger and sadness, President Barack Obama said Thursday the South Carolina church shooting that left nine people dead shows the need for a national reckoning on gun violence in America.

The president said that all too often, he has been called to the 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. "It doesn't happen in other places with this kind of frequency. It is in our power to do something about it."

Obama said that he and Vice President Joe Biden both spoke with Charleston Mayor Joseph Riley to express condolences. And the president said he and first lady Michelle Obama knew several parishioners at Emanuel AME church, including the church's pastor, state Sen. Clementa Pinckney, who was among those killed.

Obama spoke from the White House before departing on a weekend fundraising trip to California. Biden joined Obama in the briefing room for the statement.

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.

 

Police stand near the vehicle that was driven by Dylann Storm Roof in Shelby, N.C. (WBTV via AP)

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.

Dylann Roof (Lexington County (S.C.) Detention Center via AP)

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.

Clinton County District Attorney Andrew Wylie discusses the escape of two prisoners, during a news conference in Plattsburgh, N.Y. (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan)

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.

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.

The steeple of Emanuel AME Church is visible as police close off a section of Calhoun Street in Charleston following a shooting (AP Photo/David Goldman)

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.

6:10 a.m.

Surveillance photo of suspect in Charleston, S.C. church shooting (Charleston Police)

Police say they have surveillance video of a possible suspect and vehicle in the shooting deaths of nine people at a historic black church in downtown Charleston that's being called a hate crime.

Police Chief Greg Mullen met with reporters early Thursday to distribute the video. Mullen said he couldn't give a specific make and model of the vehicle because they could not be certain from the video.

The suspect is described as a white man thought to be in his early 20s. 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.

Mullen said police consider the shooting a hate crime. The FBI and state police are helping in the search.

3:35 a.m. (EDT)

Charleston Police Chief Greg Mullen says the FBI will be involved in the investigation of a shooting at a historic black church that killed nine and is being called a hate crime.

Mullen said the FBI would aid the investigation while speaking at a news conference that was also attended by FBI Special Agent in Charge David A. Thomas.

House Minority Leader Todd Rutherford says that among those killed at Emanuel AME Church was the church's pastor, state Sen. Clementa Pinckney.

Authorities are still searching for the shooter, who's described as a white male in his early 20s.

3 a.m. (EDT)

A South Carolina legislative leader says the church's pastor, state Sen. Clementa Pinckney, is among those killed in a shooting at a historic black church in downtown Charleston that authorities are calling a hate crime.

House Minority Leader Todd Rutherford says Pinckney was killed along with eight others in the Wednesday night shooting at Emanuel AME Church.

Authorities are still searching for the shooter, who's described as a white male in his early 20s.

1 a.m. (EDT)

Worshippers embrace following a group prayer across the street from the scene of a shooting in Charleston, S.C. (AP Photo/David Goldman)

Charleston police say nine people have been killed in a shooting at a historic black church in what authorities intend to investigate as a hate crime.

Police Chief Greg Mullen says eight people were found dead Wednesday at Emanuel AME Church and another person died later at the hospital.

Mullen says a prayer meeting was going on at the church at the time of the shooting.

The shooter, described as a white male, was not yet in custody.

12:45 a.m. (EDT)

Mayor Joseph P. Riley has confirmed to The Associated Press that police have told him nine are dead in a shooting at a historic black church in downtown Charleston, South Carolina.

Riley said he will release more details shortly at a news conference with Charleston police.

Police were still looking for the suspect in the Wednesday night shooting at Emanuel AME Church.

12:30 a.m. (EDT)

South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley has responded to the shooting in downtown Charleston.

"While we do not yet know all of the details, we do know that we'll never understand what motivates anyone to enter one of our places of worship and take the life of another," she said in a statement early Thursday morning.

Police were still searching for a white male suspect.


12:09 a.m. (EDT)

The Post and Courier newspaper reports that Mayor Joe Riley has confirmed there are fatalities in a shooting that occurred at the site of a church in downtown Charleston, South Carolina.

Riley called the Wednesday night shooting "an unspeakable and heartbreaking tragedy."

An Associated Press reporter on the scene said police were moving members of the media on the site back because of an "imminent" threat.

GOP presidential hopeful Jeb Bush has canceled Thursday events in the area because of the shooting.

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