Update: Nine Killed in Carolina Church shooting
June 18, Carolina: A white gun man walked into the historic Emanuel Methodist Episcopal Church, in Charleston in South Carolina, and opened fire during a Bible study class, killing nine people, according to authorities
The Police have confirmed that eight churchgoers had died at the scene; and the ninth at a hospital,nearby. Though the authorities have kept the total number of churchgoers confidential, they have stated that there are survivors.
The shooting at the historic Church, the oldest AME church in the South, is being investigated as a hate crime.”The only reason someone would walk into a church and shoot people that were praying is hate,” said Charleston Mayor Joe Riley.
Background of the Church
The Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal (AME) Church is a Gothic Revival style church built in 1891.The Church which was first built in 1816 had been completely rebuilt with its original alter, communion rail, pews, and light fixtures the church is one of only a few unaltered religious interiors in Charleston, especially from the Victorian period.
The history of this congregation reflects the development of religious institutions for African Americans in Charleston. Its roots stem from a religious group of free blacks and slaves organized in 1791. In 1816, black members of Charleston’s Methodist Episcopal church withdrew over disputed burial ground, and under the leadership of Morris Brown, formed a separate congregation.
In 1822 the church was investigated for its involvement with a planned slave revolt. Denmark Vesey, one of the church’s founders, organized a major slave uprising in Charleston. Every Wednesday evening, the church holds a Bible study in its basement.
“People in prayer Wednesday evening. A ritual, a coming together, praying, worshiping God. An awful person come in and shoot them is inexplicable,” Mayor Riley said.
The Oslo Times and Agencies