9 fatally shot at historic black church in Charleston, SC CHARLESTON, S.C. (AP) — A white man opened fire during a prayer meeting inside a historic black church in downtown Charleston on Wednesday night, killing nine people in an assault that authorities described as a hate crime. The shooter was still at large. The shooting took place at the Emanuel AME Church, Police Chief Greg Mullen said. He said there were survivors, but would not say how many, or how many were inside at the time of the shooting. He also would not confirm whether the pastor, state Sen. Clementa Pinckney, was one of the victims. Mullen described the suspect as a white male in his early 20s. He said he believed it was a hate crime, but would not elaborate. .