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Charleston church shooting

Coordinates: 32°47′15″N 79°55′59″W / 32.78750°N 79.93306°W / 32.78750; -79.93306
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Charleston church shooting
Part of mass shootings in the United States, and racism against African Americans
A large crowd of people gathered in front of a white-painted church
People mourning the deaths at the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church; image taken June 20 (three days post-shooting)
LocationEmanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church
Coordinates32°47′15″N 79°55′59″W / 32.78750°N 79.93306°W / 32.78750; -79.93306
DateJune 17, 2015; 9 years ago (2015-06-17)
c. 9:05 – c. 9:11 p.m. (EDT)
TargetAfrican Americans
Attack type
Mass shooting, hate crime domestic terrorism,
WeaponsGlock .45-caliber handgun
PerpetratorDylann Storm Roof
VerdictGuilty on all counts
  • 33 federal counts
  • 13 state counts

Death (de jure)
Life imprisonment

On the evening of June 17, 2015, a mass shooting took place at Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church, the first church for black people ever in America. It is in Charleston, South Carolina, United States. Nine people at the church were killed and another was injured. Among the dead was minister and state senator, Clementa C. Pinckney.[1]

Police arrested a white youth, later identified as 21-year-old Dylann Roof, in Shelby, North Carolina, the morning after the attack.

Dylann Storm Roof[2] was named by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) as the suspected killer after his father and uncle got in touch with police. They identified Roof after seeing security photos of him in the news.[3] Roof was born in Columbia, South Carolina. He was living in a mostly African-American neighborhood near Columbia at the time of the shooting.[4] Roof already had a police record of two arrests, both made in the months leading up to the attack.[5][6]

The victims, six women and three men, were all African-American members of the AME Church. Eight died at the scene; the ninth, Daniel Simmons, died at MUSC Medical Center.[7] They were all killed by multiple gunshots fired at close range.[4]Five persons survived the shooting unharmed, including Felicia Sanders, mother of slain victim Tywanza Sanders, and her five-year-old granddaughter, as well as Polly Sheppard, a Bible study member. Pinckney's wife and two daughters were inside the building during the shooting, but were in the pastor's office with the door locked. Those killed were identified as:[8][9]

  • Clementa C. Pinckney (41) – the church's pastor and a South Carolina state senator.
  • Cynthia Marie Graham Hurd (54) – a Bible study member and manager for the Charleston County Public Library system; sister of former state senator Malcolm Graham.
  • Susie Jackson (87) – the oldest victim who was a Bible study and church choir member.
  • Ethel Lee Lance (70) – the church's sexton.
  • Depayne Middleton-Doctor (49) – a pastor who was also employed as a school administrator and admissions coordinator at Southern Wesleyan University.
  • Tywanza Sanders (26) – the youngest victim who was a graduate of Allen University; grandnephew of victim Susie Jackson.
  • Daniel L. Simmons (74) – a pastor who also served at Greater Zion AME Church in Awendaw.
  • Sharonda Coleman-Singleton (45) – a pastor; also a speech therapist and track coach at Goose Creek High School; mother of MLB prospect Chris Singleton.
  • Myra Thompson (59) – a Bible study teacher.

The victims were later collectively referred to as "The Emanuel Nine".[10]


[change | change source]
  1. Ed Payne (18 June 2015). "Charleston church shooting: Multiple deaths reported - CNN.com". CNN. Retrieved 24 June 2015.
  2. "State of South Carolina vs Dylann Storm Roof".[permanent dead link]
  3. Leger, Donna Leinwand (June 19, 2015). "Dylann Roof's father, uncle called police to ID him in church shooting". USA Today. Retrieved June 19, 2015.
  4. 4.0 4.1 "Church shooting suspect Dylann Roof captured amid hate crime investigation". The Washington Post. June 18, 2015. Retrieved June 18, 2015.
  5. "Dylann Storm Roof arrested in North Carolina". KFOR. June 18, 2015. Retrieved June 18, 2015.
  6. Old, Jason (June 18, 2015). "Police: Dylann Roof arrested for trespassing, drug possession at Columbiana Centre". WISTV.com. Retrieved June 18, 2015.
  7. Bartelme, Tony (June 19, 2015). "Former Mount Pleasant pastor among those slain". The Post and Courier. Archived from the original on August 26, 2016. Retrieved June 22, 2015.
  8. "Charleston Shooting Victims Identified". ABC News. June 18, 2015. Retrieved June 18, 2015.
  9. "Charleston victims: 9 lives lost to family and community". CNN. June 19, 2015. Retrieved June 19, 2015.
  10. Kinnard, Meg (January 10, 2017). "The Emanuel 9: The stories of Dylann Roof's victims" – via Toronto Star.