1:00 a.m. (EDT)
Charleston police say nine people have been killed in a shooting at a historic black church in what authorities intend to investigate as a hate crime.
Police Chief Greg Mullen says eight people were found dead Wednesday at Emanuel AME Church and another person died later at the hospital.
Mullen says a prayer meeting was going on at the church at the time of the shooting.
The shooter, described as a white male, was not yet in custody.
12:45 a.m. (EDT)
Mayor Joseph P. Riley has confirmed to The Associated Press that police have told him nine are dead in a shooting at a historic black church in downtown Charleston, South Carolina.
Riley said he will release more details shortly at a news conference with Charleston police.
Police were still looking for the suspect in the Wednesday night shooting at Emanuel AME Church.
12:30 a.m. (EDT)
South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley has responded to the shooting in downtown Charleston.
"While we do not yet know all of the details, we do know that we'll never understand what motivates anyone to enter one of our places of worship and take the life of another," she said in a statement early Thursday morning.
Police were still searching for a white male suspect.
12:09 a.m. (EDT)
The Post and Courier newspaper reports that Mayor Joe Riley has confirmed there are fatalities in a shooting that occurred at the site of a church in downtown Charleston, South Carolina.
Riley called the Wednesday night shooting "an unspeakable and heartbreaking tragedy."
An Associated Press reporter on the scene said police were moving members of the media on the site back because of an "imminent" threat.
GOP presidential hopeful Jeb Bush has canceled Thursday events in the area because of the shooting.
CHARLESTON, S.C. (AP) — Police have responded to a shooting at the site of a church in downtown Charleston, South Carolina, but there is now word yet on possible casualties.
The address where police say the shooting took place is that of the Emanuel AME Church.
The Post and Courier newspaper is reporting that the pastor of the church was inside for a service at the time of the shooting. But it was unclear if the shooting took place inside the church.
Police are saying on Twitter that they're looking for an approximately 21-year-old white male.
An Associated Press reporter on the scene says police helicopters with searchlights are circling overhead in the area, and a group of pastors are kneeling and praying across the street.
The Emmanuel AME church is a historic African-American church that traces its roots to 1816, when several churches split from Charleston's Methodist Episcopal church.
One of its founders, Denmark Vesey, tried to organize a slave revolt in 1822. He was caught, and white landowners had his church burned in revenge. Parishioners worshipped underground until after the Civil War.