UPDATE: 6/18/2015 – 10:50 p.m.

Dylann Roof’s childhood friend, Joey Meek, called the FBI after recognizing him in the surveillance footage, down to the grey sweatshirt he wore while playing Xbox video games in Meek’s home the morning of the attack.

I didn’t THINK it was him. I KNEW it was him,” Meek told The Associated Press. Meek also said Roof recently used his birthday money to buy a Glock pistol. When the two of them were drinking together a few weeks ago, Roof began ranting about black people and said that he had “a plan,”. He did not say what the plan was, but Meek said it scared him enough that he took the gun out of Roof’s car and hid it in his house until the next day.

UPDATE: 6/18/2015 – 12:27 a.m.

President Obama spoke of the tragedy that took place last evening. He speaks of his personal ties to the Emanuel AME Church, admitting that he knew the pastor, who was one of the nine to lose their lives. “To say our thoughts and prayers are with them…doesn’t say enough.”

“Any death of this sort is a tragedy. Any shooting involving multiple victims is a tragedy. There is something particularly heartbreaking about a death happening in a place in which we seek solace and we seek peace. In a place of worship,” Obama adds to his statement.

Hit the jump for more details.

JaaiR (JR)
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Following his feelings, Obama takes more of a presidential approach with the topic of gun violence.

“Let’s be clear: at some point, we as a country will have to reckon with the fact that this type of mass violence does not happen in other advanced countries. It doesn’t happen in other places with this type of freqeuency. It is in our power to do something about it. I say that recongizing the politics in this town… but it would be wrong for us not to acknowledge it.”

UPDATE: 6/18/2015 – 11:31 a.m.

Sources say that Dylann Storm Roof has been found and arrested in Shelby, North Carolina during a traffic stop. News has not been revealed as to whether or not he was driving the car spotted leaving the scene, which was a black, four-door sedan.

Roof, a supporter of the apartheid-era, was said to have been wearing a wig and a fake nose, and may even have dyed part of his skin upon entering the church, and killing nine church members.

This morning, Barack Obama is scheduled to speak on the ‘hate crime’.

UPDATE: 6/18/2015 – 10:32 a.m.

The individual accused of shooting and killing nine people at Emanuel AME Church Wednesday night has been identified as 21-year-old Dylann Roof. Authorities continue to search for the suspect. Roof is described as a white male, slender/small build, gray sweat shirt, blue jeans and clean shaven. The suspect is considered armed and dangerous.

In March, Roof was arrested on drug charges.


Thursday morning [June 18], the hunt continues for a white gunman who entered into the Charleston, South Carolina Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church, and opened fire; killing nine – six women and three men – church prayer attendees and then fleeing the scene. Wednesday evening, reports state that the man entered the historic landmark around 9 p.m. He sat in on a prayer meeting for an hour before beginning to shoot. Among the victims was the church’s Reverend Clementa Pinckney, 41, who also served as a state senator.

“He was called to the ministry when he was 13, ordained at 18, elected to the House at 23 and the Senate at 27,” said J. Todd Rutherford, the minority leader of the State House of Representatives about Pinckney. “He was a man driven by public service.”

Calling the shooting the work of “a hateful and deranged mind,” Mayor Joseph P. Riley Jr. said it was hard to imagine churchgoers at “a prayer service and a Bible service, and they’re speaking about the Holy Scriptures and praying,” while someone is “sitting there contemplating the act of murder.”

According to Charleston’s chief of police Greg Mullen, the “hate crime” is being handled by local law enforcement officials, the F.B.I., and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. No stone will go unturned officials mention, especially with everyone on the case.

The N.A.A.C.P. is lending a helping hand in the matter as well. They issued a statement on their disdain.

The N.A.A.C.P. was founded to fight against racial hatred, and we are outraged that 106 years later, we are faced today with another mass hate crime. Our heartfelt prayers and soul-deep condolences go out to the families and community of the victims at Charleston’s historic Emanuel A.M.E. Church.
The senselessly slain parishioners were in a church for Wednesday night bible study. There is no greater coward than a criminal who enters a house of God and slaughters innocent people engaged in the study of scripture. Today I mourn as an A.M.E. minister, as a student and teacher of scripture, as well as a member of the N.A.A.C.P.
The N.A.A.C.P. South Carolina State Conference and Charleston Branch have been working on the ground — with police and the community to bring this case to a close. We remain vigilant while the local police and F.B.I. investigate this hate crime and bring the shooter to justice.

Check out the gallery for more from the Charleston Church shooting scene.