A survivor says a man who killed three men and six women at a historic South Carolina black church reloaded five times during the massacre and offered a chilling statement of his motives.
The white man in his early 20s opened fire on a prayer service Wednesday night inside Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, killing Pastor Rev. Clementa Pinckney – who is also a state senator – and eight other congregants.
The lawmaker’s cousin said the shooter came into the church and sat next to Pinckney through the service and started shooting when it concluded.
A survivor told reporters that the gunman reloaded five times during the massacre and ignored the pleas of one man to reconsider killing the worshipers.
“You rape our women and you’re taking over our country — and you have to go,” the terrorist said, according to a survivor.
Investigators released surveillance camera images of the gunman, who is described as 5 feet 9 inches tall, with light brown hair in a bowl cut.
Police said he was wearing a distinctive sweatshirt and driving a vehicle with a distinctive license plate, although they did not elaborate details about either.
Authorities believe he is still in the Charleston area.
Police are investigating the massacre as a hate crime.