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Summary

  1. Nine people killed by gunman at African-American church
  2. Police say suspect Dylann Roof, 21, is in custody
  3. He was arrested four hours away in Shelby, N Carolina
  4. Officers are treating it as a hate crime
  5. Victims have been named, aged from 26 to 87
  6. President Obama calls for shift in US attitudes to gun violence

Live Reporting

By Paul Blake, Tom Geoghegan, Thom Poole, Ashley Gold and Joel Gunter

All times stated are UK

  1. Post update

    This marks the end of our live coverage of the shooting in Charleston.

    We'll continue to update the main story, and provide up-to-the-minute coverage on radio and television.

    For even more, follow Aleem Maqbool and Rajini Vaidyanathan on Twitter- both of whom are in Charleston.

  2. Past church attacks

    In his response to the attack, President Obama said the fact it took place in a black church evoked a "dark part of our history". Here are some previous incidents:

    • dynamite damages a Baptist church in Birmingham, Alabama, in 1958
    • four black girls are killed after the bombing of a church in Birmingham, Alabama, in 1963
    • about three dozen black churches are burned or bombed in Mississippi in 1964
    • President Clinton orders an investigation in 1996 after a spate of church fires, particularly at black churches
    • fire burns a church in Springfield, Massachusetts, in 2008, hours after Barack Obama elected president
  3. Post update

    Hillary Clinton, who is running for president, said the tragedy means the country has to face "hard truths" about guns and race.

    "How many innocent people in our country, from little children to church members to movie theatre attendees, how many people do we need to see cut down before we act?" the former first lady said in Las Vegas.

  4. Roof 'wanted to start civil war'

    Police lead suspected shooter Dylann Roof into the courthouse in Shelby, North Carolina

    Dylann Roof had been "planning something like that for six months," a friend of his, Dalton Tyler, told ABC News.

    "He was big into segregation and other stuff," he said. "He said he wanted to start a civil war. He said he was going to do something like that and then kill himself."

  5. Pastor calls for change

    Pastor Stephen Singleton, a former minister at the church where the shooting took place, says changes in the US laws on firearms are overdue.

    "That's an issue that's been on the table for a long time. Every time it comes up, it generates a lot of discussion. But in the end there's nothing that's done about it. And I think that's because people in key places want it to remain the way it is. We should have already done it."

  6. Victim profiles

    The ages of victims ranged from 26 to 87. Read their profiles

    Composite image of the victims
  7. Help for victims

    Following the attack, Charleston Mayor Joe Riley announced he was setting up the Mother Emanuel Hope Fund.

    It will be used to aid the victims' families and the church. The website is not yet functioning but donations can be made directly to the church.

  8. Stain of hatred

    Vice President Joe Biden has released a statement saying "as a nation we must confront the ravages of gun violence and the stain of hatred that continues to be visited on our streets, in our schools, in our houses of worship, and in our communities".

  9. Suspect being moved

    WISTV is reporting that Dylann Roof waived extradition during a court appearance in Cleveland County, North Carolina.

    He is now being transported to Charleston, South Carolina, a journey of about 245 miles (395 km), or four hours by car.

  10. Post update

    The local government in Berkeley County, South Carolina, tweeted this about Rev Sharonda Singleton, 45, who was killed in the attack:

  11. The city mourns

    Rep Clyburn
    Woman crying
    Police officer walking with flowers
    Black man and white man hugging
    Men holding hands
    Flowers and greeting card
  12. Arrest timeline

    Police have issued details of the arrest in Shelby:

    • 10:32 (15:32 BST) - police receive a call from a citizen about a possible sighting of Roof
    • 10:43 - officers spot Roof's car
    • 10:44 - officers stop the car and identify Roof
    • 10:49 - Roof is arrested and taken to the local police station

    Shelby Police Chief Jeffrey Ledford said his team contacted Charleston police and they are now working out how he will be taken there (it's about four hours away).

    Shelby police chief
  13. Post update

    The BBC's Rajini Vaidyanathan tweets:

  14. Post update

    Pictures just released of suspect Dylann Roof leaving the police station in Shelby.

    Dylann Roof
  15. Post update

    The president of the Southern Poverty Law Center, Richard Cohen has described the shooting as "an obvious hate crime" perpetrated by "someone who feels threatened by our country's changing demographics and the increasing prominence of African Americans in public life".

    He notes that since 2000, his group has seen an increase in the number of hate groups in the US.

  16. 'Tireless servant'

    South Carolina State Library, who employed one of the victims, Cynthia Hurd, closed its premises in Charleston today in memory of her and the others killed in the shooting.

    A statement on Facebook said: "Cynthia was a tireless servant of the community who spent her life helping residents, making sure they had every opportunity for an education and personal growth".

  17. Another bomb threat

    We're hearing reports that the Charleston County Building is being evacuated for a bomb threat.

    Minutes ago, the coroner was holding a press conference inside the building and naming the victims of last night's shooting.

    Earlier a church where a memorial service was being held was evacuated for the same reason.

  18. Post update

    Data picture that says 7,242 US Hate Crime victims in 2013

    For more on who's committing hate crimes in the US and why, watch this video by David Botti (@bottidavid).

  19. Recent mass shootings

    Earlier, President Obama said he "had to make statements like this too many times". You can see him speaking here.

    Here are some of the major shootings while he has been in office:

    • a US army psychiatrist opened fire at Foot Hood in Texas, killing 13 in 2009
    • a former graduate attacked a Colorado cinema showing the premiere of a Batman film, killing 12 in 2012
    • a white supremacist targeted at a Sikh temple in Wisconsin, killing six in 2012
    • a young man attacked at a Connecticut elementary school, killing 26 people, including 20 children in 2012
    • a civilian contractor opened fire at a Washington DC naval base, killing 12 in 2013
  20. Victims named

    The victims have been officially named by the county coroner:

    • Cynthia Hurd, 54, female
    • Susie Jackson, 87, female
    • Ethel Lance, 70, female
    • Rev DePayne Middleton-Doctor, 49, female
    • Rev Clementa Pinckney, 41, male
    • Tywanza Sanders, 26, male
    • Rev Daniel Simmons Sr, 74, male, who died in hospital
    • Rev Sharonda Singleton, 45, female
    • Myra Thompson, 59, female
  21. Paper apologises for gun ad

    Charleston’s the Post and Courier has apologised after carrying an advert for a gun store on some of its editions earlier. The image has been very widely shared on social media. In response to a complaint on Facebook, the paper said it was a “deeply regrettable coincidence”.

  22. Post update

    The BBC's Rajini Vaidyanathan tweets:

  23. First Lady lays candles

    Michelle Obama, who is visiting Europe, made an unannounced visit to Milan's Duomo Cathedral with her daughters Malia (pictured) and Sasha. She is reported to have lit candles in memory of the victims of the shooting.

    U.S. first lady Michelle Obama (R) and her daughter Malia visits Milan"s Dome in Milan, Italy
  24. Pinckney portrait

    Cassie Cope, a reporter with South Carolina's the State newspaper, tweets:

  25. 'Dark heart' of America

    Columnists have started sharing their thoughts.

    Charles Pierce in Esquire says it's time for Americans to confront the "dark heart" of the country.

    And Amy Davidson in The New Yorker has called on leaders to say more about the "demons" that inhabit the nation.

  26. Post update

    We're hearing unconfirmed reports that the coroner will hold a press conference at 15:00 local time (20:00 BST) detailing the victims' identities.

  27. 'Senseless tragedy'

    The South Carolina chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) has issued a statement.

    "Events like this are further evidence that we need to be fighting for racial equality in our daily lives. Although the motives are unclear at this point, this attack against black people in an institution that has such historical and cultural importance detracts from years of healing undertaken by our communities. Senator Pinckney stood for civil liberties and we mourn his loss with the other victims."

  28. Bomb threat clear

    The bomb threat at the Morris Brown AME church has been cleared, Charleston County Sheriff's office says.

  29. Scott family saddened

    The family of Walter Scott, the black man shot and killed by police in North Charleston, have said in a statement they were "shocked and saddened" by the latest shooting.

    "We are thankful that the individual accused of carrying out this horrific act has been apprehended," they said. "It is our hope that justice will come swiftly."

  30. Bomb threat

    There has been a bomb threat at the Morris Brown AME Church in South Carolina, the site of vigil for the shooting victims. The BBC's Aleem Maqbool is there.

  31. Coroner to give press conference

    Charleston county coroner Rae Wooten will speak to the press at 15:00 local time, about an hour from now.

  32. Post update

    Ernest Britt, a staff member for Charleston mayoral candidate Ginny Deerin, was at the church on Sunday night. He described it in a Facebook post as "absolutely beautiful, but not as beautiful as the people within".

    Sunday at the church was "Children's Sunday" and Reverend Clementa Pinckney's entire family was on stage, leading the congregation in prayer, he said.

  33. 'We are with you'

    The Charleston Museum has tweeted a message of condolence for those affected by the shooting.

  34. Post update

    Another Republican presidential candidate, Ben Carson, has commented, writing on his Facebook page that "last night evil walked the streets of Charleston".

    Carson, who is black, added: "In my lifetime I have seen such great progress, although racial-based hate is still very much alive, as last night so violently reminded us."

  35. Obama statement in full

    The White House has tweeted the full video of the president's statement.

  36. Confederate flag

    The Southern Poverty Law Center, a civil rights group that tracks hate groups and extremist individuals, says it had not been tracking Dylann Roof before the shooting.

    On his Facebook page, he can be seen with a jacket with two patches - both flags of regimes of white minority rule in South Africa and Rhodesia.

    And we're now hearing that the car that he drove had a licence plate that featured a confederate flag.

  37. Post update

    The suspect's car is now being towed under police escort.

    Car being towed
    Car being towed
    Car being towed
    Charleston shooting suspect's car loaded into facility with ATF agents around
  38. Dylann Roof's home

    Cynthia Roldan, a journalist from Charleston's Post and Courier, visited the suspect's home but was told to leave.

  39. American 'sickness'

    Presidential contenders at the Faith and Freedom Conference in Washington have been speaking about the tragedy.

    "There's a sickness in our country, there's something terribly wrong, but it's not going to be fixed by our government... It's people not understanding where salvation comes from," said Senator Rand Paul.

    "Today the body of Christ is in mourning," said Senator Ted Cruz. "A sick and deranged person came and prayed with a historically black congregation for an hour and then murdered nine souls… Believers across the world are lifting up the congregants."

  40. Paying their respects

    A makeshift memorial is being made near the church, and people are coming to lay flowers and pay their respects.

    Mother and daughter hugging near the memorial
    Man leaning against a light pole staring at the memorial
    Man kneeling in front of the memorial
    A woman holds a card that says "wrapping you in love at a time when words fall short"
    A woman placing flowers at the memorial
  41. Profile of suspect

    A fuller picture is emerging of the suspected gunman, a 21-year-old from Lexington, South Carolina, described as "adrift" by his uncle.

  42. Post update

    The BBC's Aleem Maqbool tweets this quote:

  43. Post update

    Politicians from across the spectrum held a moment's silence at the US Capitol in Washington.

    US Capitol scene
  44. 'Quiet, sweet kid'

    A friend of Roof's, Joey Meek, recognised him in one of the surveillance pictures circulated and alerted the FBI, said Joey Meek's mother, Kimberly Kozny.

    "I don't know what was going through his head,'' Ms Kozny told AP. "He was a really sweet kid. He was quiet. He only had a few friends.''

  45. Post update

    The BBC's Rajini Vaidyanathan tweets:

  46. Obama anger

    More detail on the president's statement, which was delivered with barely concealed anger.

    "Innocent people were killed because someone who wanted to inflict harm had no trouble getting their hands on a gun," the president said.

    "At some point we as a country will have to reckon with the fact that this type of mass violence doesn't happen in other advanced countries... with this kind of frequency."

    Obama and Biden
  47. Post update

    I've had to make statements like this too many times, says Mr Obama. Now is the time for mourning, he says, but this kind of gun violence doesn't happen in other countries and the US must face up to that.

  48. 'A sacred place'

    President Obama describes the church as "a sacred place in the history of Charleston and the history of America".

  49. Post update

    Any shooting is a tragedy, says the US president, but especially in a place of worship, where people seek peace and solace.

  50. Post update

    Mark Knoller, from CBS News, tweets:

  51. Post update

    President Barack Obama, speaking now, says he knew the church pastor who was killed.

  52. 'Tragedy'

    James Clyburn, a senior Democrat who represents South Carolina, says he is "distraught" by the attack, and highlights a quote from Martin Luther King:

  53. Post update

    Images are now coming in from North Carolina of the alleged gunman's car. Shelby is about four hours by car from Charleston.

    Suspect's car
  54. Senators sombre

    Sombre scenes at the statehouse in Columbia, South Carolina, as senators remember Senator Clementa Pinckney, who was killed in the church shooting.

    Chaplain James St. John, center, leads senators in prayer, Thursday, June 18, 2015, at the Statehouse in Columbia
    Image caption: A group prayer was held
    Members of the senate watch a tribute video to state Sen. Clementa Pinckney
    Image caption: Senators watched a tribute video
    The desk of state Sen. Clementa Pinckney is draped in black cloth with a single rose and vase
    Image caption: His desk was draped in a black cloth with a single rose
  55. Post update

    A summary of what the police chief just said:

    • the suspect was stopped after a civilian reported a suspicious vehicle
    • Shelby North Carolina Police Department arrested him
    • the suspect was co-operative when arrested
    • police have no reason to believe there are other suspects
    • he remains in Shelby for now
  56. From the scene

    Rajini Vaidyanathan

    BBC News, Charleson

    The streets close to the church are deserted, save for a few uniformed police officers. A trickle of people arrive to lay flowers for the victims.

    "Peace for the church, the family and their loved ones," reads one handwritten note, tucked into a bouquet of bright flowers. A short drive away, mourners have arrived for a vigil in memory of the deceased.

    Reverend Vanessa Johnson is from a nearby church but knew one of the reported victims, Rev Clementa Pinckney.

    "All of us are in shock,. We are at a loss for words," she says. Rev Johnson says the Emmanuel church holds a special place in this city's hearts, making the events of Wednesday night so difficult to digest.

  57. Governor tearful

    South Carolina governor

    South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley has been speaking just now and fighting back tears.

    "Parents are having to explain to their kids how they can go to church and feel safe," the governor said. "That's not something we ever thought we'd deal with".

    "We are a strong and faithful state," she said. "These nine families need us, the Emanuel AME church needs us".

  58. Healing process

    Charleston Mayor Joseph Riley described the suspect as an "awful person" and a "terrible human being".

    "In America, we don't let bad people like this get away we these dastardly deeds".

    He said the arrest was an important part of the process of healing.

    Mayor Riley
  59. Post update

    "I am very very pleased to announce that we have made an arrest in this case," said Greg Mullen, Charleston police chief.

    He said that the arrest of Dylann Roof was made in Shelby, North Carolina around 11:15 local time (16:15 BST/15:15GMT) during a traffic stop.

  60. BreakingBreaking News

    Police have confirmed Dylann Roof's arrest at a traffic stop in Shelby, North Carolina.

  61. Post update

    President Obama expected in about 10 minutes

    The White House says President Obama will deliver a statement from the press briefing room on the shooting in South Carolina at 11:45 local time (16:45 BST/15:45 GMT).

  62. Tributes

    The BBC's Rajini Vaidyanathan tweets:

  63. Minority era flags

    In a Facebook picture released by police, Dylann Roof's jacket bears the patches of flags of South Africa and Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe) from when the two African countries were ruled by their white minority population.

    A close up of a jacket warn by Dylann Roof, the Charleston suspect
  64. BreakingBreaking News

    Police sources have told CNN and various local media that Dylann Roof has been caught and is now in custody. He was reportedly arrested in Shelby, North Carolina.

  65. 'He will face justice'

    Loretta Lynch

    The US Attorney General Loretta Lynch has been speaking in the last few minutes.

    She said the Department of Justice, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, the FBI, US Marshall Service and others are working closely with state and local partners to "locate and apprehend" the suspect who perpetrated what she described as "heart-breaking and deeply tragic events".

    "The individual who committed these acts will be found and he will face justice," she said. "We will do everything in our power to help heal this community".

  66. Gunman 'reloaded'

    NBC News has published an interview with Sylvia Johnson, Pastor Clementa Pinckney's cousin, who says she spoke to one of the survivors.

    She was told that the gunman "reloaded five different times" and that the gunman told the victims: "I have to do it... You rape our women and you're taking over our country, and you have to go."

  67. Post update

    We're expecting Loretta Lynch, the US Attorney General, to speak imminently.

    She was scheduled to speak about law enforcement actions against fraud, but journalists will be watching to see what she says about the newly-launched hate crime investigation.

  68. Suspect 'given gun for birthday'

    The suspect in the Charleston shooting, Dylann Roof, was given a gun for his 21st birthday, his uncle told Reuters. Carson Cowles said he recognised the man in photos released by police as his nephew.

  69. Hate crime v terror

    There's also been a debate on social media about the language being used to describe the incident.

    Keith White, who lives in Washington, tweeted: "You know if this guy had an Arabic sounding last name the city of Charleston would be on lockdown."

    Andrew Stroehlein, who lives in Brussels and works for Human Rights Watch, tweeted: "9 dead in Charleston terror attack - or rather 'senseless killing' because shooter's white".

    For more on this debate see by BBC Newsbeat's Felicity Morse.

  70. Flag debate

    Confederate flag

    The BBC's Trending team has been exploring how some people on social media linked the attack to the flying of the Confederate flag, and the strong reaction that notion has generated. Here's the article.

  71. Post update

    South Carolina Senator Lindsey Graham, who is running for president, has just released a statement, saying: "Our sense of security and well-being has been robbed and shaken."

  72. The suspect

    This is one of the images released by police of the suspect, Dylann Roof. It was taken from his Facebook page.

    Dylann Roof, the suspect in the Charleston shooting.
  73. BreakingBreaking News

    City of Charleston Police are now naming the suspect as Dylann Roof of Lexington, South Carolina.

    They say he may be driving a black Hyundai with licence plate "LFG330".

  74. 'Senseless'

    Gabrielle Giffords, the former US politician who survived an assassination attempt, tweets:

  75. Suspect named

    The Charleston Post and Courier reports that the FBI has confirmed the suspect's identity as 21-year-old Dylann Roof.

  76. 'Where do we go from here?'

    The BBC's Outside Source programme has compiled some of the stunned reactions to the shooting.

  77. Post update

    US Attorney General Loretta Lynch is due to speak at 11:00 local time (15:00 GMT) at a press conference on fraud, but she may also make a statement about the shooting in Charleston.

    Moments ago it was announced that the Department of Justice is opening a hate crime investigation into the incident.

  78. Floral tributes

    Residents of Charleston are waking up to the news, and some have begun to leave flowers near the church.

    Boy and woman holding flowers
    Image caption: Darby Jenkins and his mother Ashley took flowers to the scene this morning
    Flowers on the ground
  79. 'Heartbroken'

    Todd Rutherford, the Democratic House Minority Leader in South Carolina, tweets:

  80. Post update

    It is Thursday morning now in Charleston. Police remain outside the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church.

    Police at the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston
  81. 1963 atrocity

    Traditionally black churches played a key role throughout the history of the civil rights movement, making them a target for hate crimes.

    One of the worst attacks was the bombing of the 16th Street Baptist Church in Birmingham, Alabama, in 1963, which killed four young girls.

    Four suspects were identified by the FBI in 1965, but convictions took decades. One man was convicted in 1977, two others were convicted in the early 2000s, and the fourth died in 1994 having never faced prosecution for the crimes. All were thought to be members of a group associated with the Ku Klux Klan.

    Read more: 16th Street Baptist Church Bombing - (U.S. National Park Service)

  82. Prayer group

    Soon after the shooting, a group began praying near the church.

    Men pray in a circle near the scene of a mass shooting in Charleston, South Carolina
  83. 'We've had enough'

    Christopher Cason, a community leader, referred to the death of Walter Scott in giving his reaction to the shooting.

    "We're talking about a Caucasian killing blacks, we just seen it the other week in North Charleston and that was a police officer. We're tired, we're fed up with this, we've had enough."

    Scott was killed when he was shot in the back by a police officer, who is to go on trial for murder.

  84. 'Hate crime'

    The US has opened a federal hate crime investigation into the Charleston shooting, the Department of Justice says. It will run alongside the state of South Carolina's inquiry.

  85. Post update

    Flag of Charleston, SC

    Some facts about Charleston (flag above):

    • 120,083 population
    • 25.4% black
    • settled by English colonists in 1670
    • originally called Charles Town in honour of King Charles II
    • renamed Charleston in 1783
    • the first shots of the Civil War were fired at Fort Sumter in Charleston Harbour

    US Census Bureau, South Carolina State Library, The City of Charleston

  86. Post update

    Two key figures in the 2016 presidential race, Jeb Bush and Hillary Clinton were, by coincidence, campaigning or due to be campaigning in South Carolina.

    Ms Clinton gave a speech in North Charleston before the attack, and later tweeted: "Heartbreaking news from Charleston - my thoughts and prayers are with you all. -H"

    Mr Bush has cancelled the event he was to host at the Charleston Maritime Center, just a few blocks from the church.

  87. 'Massacre'

    The front cover of the New York Daily News:

  88. 'Desecration of national soul'

    NAACP president on CBS This Morning

    The president of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, Cornell William Brooks, has told CBS the killings are "not only a desecration of the sanctuary, it is a desecration of the soul of the country".

    He said bible studies like the one attacked in the church are welcoming and inclusive, so the suspect would have been greeted warmly before he committed his "morally incomprehensible" crime.

    "To have this kind of tragedy take place in a bible study is shocking".

  89. 'Spirit-lifter'

    Clementa Pinckney, the pastor and senator believed to be one of the victims, was a rising star of Democrat politics in South Carolina.

    He spoke about his politics as an extension of his religious mission. Earlier this year, Mr Pinckney appeared at rallies to protest at the death of Walter Scott, an unarmed black man shot dead by a police officer in Charleston.

    In 1998, the veteran Washington Post political reporter, David Broder, met Mr Pinckney and described him as a "spirit-lifter".

    Read more about Mr Pinckney here

  90. Post update

    A help centre has been opened in Charleston for families of the victims. It will be based at a hotel in the city, staffed by chaplains and local victim services.

  91. Manhunt

    Police are racing to identify the gunman.

    Police flier

    Emergency management officials are distributing this flier hoping the public might recognise the man seen on CCTV entering the church.

    Still photo from a CCTV camera

    The slender white man seen in the footage, the key suspect so far in the case, has a distinctive bowl-type haircut, is approximately 5 feet and 9 inches (175.2 cm) tall, and in his early 20s.

  92. Post update

    His cousin Kent Williams, also a state Senator, has described him as a peacemaker, loved by everyone, and it was "beyond imagination" how anyone could commit such a crime.

  93. Post update

    And there's a picture of pastor and state Senator Clementa Pinckney available now, who is believed to be among the dead.

    Clementa Pinckney
  94. Hate crime data

    Charleston police chief Gregory Mullen has said he believes the attack was a hate crime.

    The FBI tracks hate crime statistics across the US and has published data for 2013, the most recent year for which data is available:

    • US law enforcement agencies reported 3,563 victims of racially-motivated hate crime
    • of those, 66.5% were victims whose attackers were motivated by anti-black or African American bias
  95. 'A giant'

    The church's pastor, state Senator Clementa Pinckney, is reported to be among the dead. His fellow senator, Marlon Kimpson, told CNN he was a "giant".

    "He was the moral compass of the state Senate," he added.

  96. 'Symbol of black freedom'

    Robert Greene, an academic who specialises in African-American history, has been explaining why the church is so significant.

    "It's not just a church. It's also a symbol… of black freedom," he told the Washington Post. "That's why so many folks are so upset tonight, because it's a church that represents so much about the rich history and tradition of African Americans in Charleston."

  97. Where the shooting took place

    The Emanuel Church is right in the centre of Charleston and sits on one of the main roads into the city.

    Map of Charleston shooting
  98. Church history

    The church which was attacked, the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal (AME) church, has played a notable role in African-American history, which you can read more about here.

    Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal (AME) church
  99. Post update

    The news conference has now ended. Here's what we learnt:

    • there are three survivors from the attack
    • the gunman was at the church for nearly an hour before the shooting took place
    • the dead include six women and three men
    • police do not know the gunman's whereabouts
  100. Survivors

    There are three survivors of the attack, according to police.

  101. 'Be vigilant'

    Mr Mullen says that the whereabouts of the suspect is unknown. He urges people to be vigilant and aware of their surroundings.

  102. Post update

    City police chief Gregory Mullen says the gunman was in the church for nearly an hour before the shooting took place and was attending the prayer meeting.

  103. 'Outpouring of love'

    "You will see an outpouring of love and kindness and help," says Mayor Riley.

    He says that the community will put their arms around the church and its family.

  104. 'Hateful person'

    Charleston Mayor Joe Riley describes the shooter as a "hateful person" and says that his actions are beyond comprehension.

  105. Post update

    This is the image of the suspect that police have released.

    An image provided by Charleston Police of the suspect in the Charleston church shooting - 18 June 2015
  106. Post update

    "This tragedy that we're addressing right now is indescribable. No-one in this community will ever forget this night," says Mr Mullen.

  107. Post update

    City police chief Gregory Mullen is speaking at a press conference. He says there were three male victims and six females. One victim was rushed to hospital but died later.

  108. Post update

    Just to recap, at 21:05 local time on Wednesday (01:05 GMT Thursday) police responded to a call from the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, South Carolina.

    When police arrived, eight people were found dead and another died later at hospital. The church's pastor, state Senator Clementa Pinckney, is reported to be among the dead.

    Police issued an initial description of the suspect as white, about 21, slender build and clean shaven and wearing a grey sweatshirt, blue jeans and Timberland boots.

    They later said he was seen driving away from the church in a black four-door saloon car.

  109. Post update

    Hello and welcome to the BBC's live coverage of the aftermath of the shootings of nine people at a historic African-American church in Charleston in the US state of South Carolina.

    Stay with us for the latest updates - reports from our correspondents on the ground, expert analysis, and your reaction from around the world. You can contact us via email, text or Twitter. We'll publish what we can.