The fatal shooting incident that took place in Charleston, S.C. at one of the oldest Black AME churches in the nation is under a major investigation. As the details continue to unfold in the horrific Wednesday night (Jun. 17) crime, the nine victims who were announced dead have since been identified.
Police in Charleston announced last night that there were nine victims killed after a White gunman entered the Emanuel AME Church and unloaded his weapon. According to what’s been reported by various news agencies, six women and three men, including church pastor and state Senator Clementa C. Pinckney. However, the names of the victims will not be released until their families have all been notified.
More from local outlet WRAL:
The Emanuel AME Church’s pastor, state Sen. Clementa Pinckney, was among those killed, State House Minority leader Todd Rutherford told The Associated Press.
Pinckney, 41, was a married father of two who was elected to the state House at 23, making him the youngest member of the House at the time.
“He never had anything bad to say about anybody, even when I thought he should,” Rutherford, D-Columbia, said. “He was always out doing work either for his parishioners or his constituents. He touched everybody.”
Another key fact regarding the Charleston church shooting is that Emanuel AME was co-founded by Denmark Vesey, a man who attempted to lead a violent slave revolt in 1822.
Vesey’s plot was to be hatched on July 14, but fearful slaves told their masters of the plan. Several men who worked with Vesey were arrested starting on June 17 of that year, with Vesey himself captured on June 22.
The White gunman is still at large as a massive manhunt is underway. The Justice Department is reportedly looking to investigate the matter as a hate crime.
Photo: Charleston Police