Church MASSACRE killer left 1 woman alive to tell the tale; 5-year-old plays dead and lives

A manhunt is covering  Charleston, S.C., after a gunman opened fire inside a historically black church Wednesday night, murdering nine people attending a Bible study class — and leaving one woman alive as a witness to what he’d done.

A 5- year-old girl also escaped by playing dead.

Charleston Police Chief Greg Mullen described the killer at Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church as white, about 21, clean-shaven with sandy-blonde hair, wearing blue jeans a grey sweat shirt and Timberland boots, according to Fox News.

“This is a tragedy that no community should have to experience,” Mullen told reporters early Thursday morning. “It is senseless and unfathomable in today’s society that someone would walk into a church during a prayer meeting and take their lives.”

“The only reason that someone could walk into a church and shoot people praying is out of hate,” said Charleston Mayor Joseph P. Riley. “It is the most dastardly act that one could possibly imagine, and we will bring that person to justice … This is one hateful person.”

The investigation was complicated when a large area of the street had to be closed off because of a bomb threat that was called in.

Fox News reported:

Among the dead was the church’s pastor, state Sen. Clementa Pinckney, 41, who had been a pastor since he was 18. Pinckney was the youngest African-American elected to the South Carolina legislature when he won office in 1996 at age 23 and had been a state senator since 2000.  

Soon after Wednesday night’s shooting, a group of pastors huddled together praying in a circle across the street. Community organizer Christopher Cason told the Associated Press he felt certain the shootings were racially motivated.

“I am very tired of people telling me that I don’t have the right to be angry,” Cason said. “I am very angry right now.”

A female survivor of the shooting had reportedly told Dot Scott, resident of the Charleston NAACP that the gunman told her he was letting her live to tell others what had happened.

Because of the killing, Republican presidential candidate Jeb Bush cancelled a Charleston campaign event scheduled Thursday.

South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley called the shooting a “senseless tragedy” in a statement.

“While we do not yet know all of the details, we do know that we’ll never understand what motivated anyone to enter one of our places of worship and take the life of another,” Haley said. “Please join us in lifting up the victims and their families with our love and prayers.”

U.S. Sen. Tim Scott, R-S.C., tweeted:

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