The steeple of Emanuel AME Church is visible as police close off a section of Calhoun Street early Thursday, June 18, 2015 following a shooting Wednesday night in Charleston, S.C. (AP Photo/David Goldman)
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A white man was arrested Thursday in the slayings of nine people, including the pastor, at a prayer meeting inside a historic black church in downtown Charleston.Dylann Storm Roof, 21, stayed for nearly an hour inside the church Wednesday night before shooting six females and three males at a prayer meeting, Police Chief Greg Mullen said. The shooting evoked painful memories of other attacks on black churches.This particular church, which was founded in 1816, had its own grim history: When a founder, Denmark Vesey, tried to organize a slave revolt in 1822, he was caught, and white landowners burned the church down in revenge. In a statement, Cornell William Brooks, head of the civil rights group NAACP, condemned the shooting.Community organizer Christopher Cason said he felt certain the shootings were racially motivated.Even before Scott's shooting in April, Cason said he had been part of a group meeting with police and local leaders to try to shore up relations.
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