Thursday 18 June 2015

Breaking News: Charleston Church Shooter Identified & Caught

The man suspected of killing nine people Wednesday night at an African-American church in Charleston, South Carolina, was arrested Thursday morning about 245 miles (395 kilometers) away in Shelby, North Carolina, law enforcement authorities said.

Dylann Roof, 21, of Lexington, South Carolina, was taken into custody without incident about 11:15 a.m. during a traffic stop, Charleston police Chief Greg Mullen said Thursday morning. He said local police were acting on a BOLO (be-on-the-lookout) notice that included a vehicle description, the license tag and the suspect's name.

Roof was armed with a gun when he was arrested, according to a law enforcement official briefed on the investigation. It's not clear if it's the same firearm he allegedly used in the shooting.

A senior law enforcement source told CNN the suspect's father had recently bought him a .45-caliber gun for his 21st birthday.

Tywanza Sanders, a 2014 graduate of Allen University who was attending Bible study at the church, was among the 9 victims of Wednesday's attack.

“He was a quiet, well known student who was committed to his education,” Dr. Flavia Eldemire, vice president of Institutional Advancement at Allen University, said in a statement.

The Rev. Clementa Pinckney, the church's pastor who was also killed, was a 1995 Allen graduate and the speaker at the school's "Founders’ Day" earlier this year.

“Pinckney was one of our graduates that showed the impact that our alumni can and do make," Allen University interim President Lady June Cole said Thursday.

At the White House, President Barack Obama addressed the church shootings before departing for California.

"To say our thoughts and prayers are with them and their families and their community doesn't say enough," President Obama said. "Any death of this sort is a tragedy. Any shooting involving multiple victims is a tragedy. There is something particularly tragic about a death happening in a place that we seek solace."

That the shooting happened at a black church, Obama said, is a reminder of a "dark part" of U.S. history.

The president also addressed the issue of gun violence.

"I've had to make statements like these too many times," Obama said. "Once again innocent people were killed in part because someone who wanted to inflict harm had no trouble getting their hands on a gun."

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